The Indian government released the information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) Rules, 2021, to be followed by social media companies like Facebook and Twitter.
According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union’s IT minister, who spoke to the media, the rules are essentially aimed at empowering ordinary users of social media, for whom the fake news and financial fraud are one of the major challenges.
The intention is for major social media platforms to develop redress mechanisms with “soft” government oversight, he added.
Facebook welcomed these guidelines and thanked the Minister for recognizing the positive contributions of social media to the country. A statement from Facebook’s spokesperson reads: ‘As a business, we have always made it clear that we welcome regulations that set guidelines for tackling the most difficult challenges on the internet today. hui. Facebook is committed to the ability of people to express themselves freely and safely on our platforms. Rules details like these are important and we’ll be taking a close look at the new rules just released. “
The statement also reiterated Facebook’s position as an ally of India as an ally and said they would continue to work to ensure that the platforms “play an enabling role in fueling India’s exciting digital transformation. “.
One of the most worrying is allowing identification of the sender.
The rules state that a major social media intermediary must allow the identification of the first author of the information when required by a court decision. This is of concern as it would mean breaking the end-to-end encryption offered by services like WhatsApp and Signal.
The Internet Freedom Foundation think tank pointed out that the rules introduced the requirement of traceability of the creator of information, which breaks the end-to-end encryption again. Many platforms (Whatsapp, Signal, etc.) keep a minimum of users data and use E2E encryption to ensure user privacy.