On 25 February 2021, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IL & DMEC Rules) under Section 87 read with Section 79(2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The long-awaited rules, which are in supersession of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules of 2011 (IL Rules) carry forward some of MeitY’s key proposals towards tackling the issue of rapid dissemination of illegal content and misinformation on social media and communications platforms, as indicated in the draft Amendments to the IL Rules released for public consultation in 2018.
The IL & DMEC Rules aim to address many of the concern areas of grievance redressal, fake news, online safety, and parity with existing laws. NASSCOM had been working closely with its members to share feedback on the draft Amendments IL Rules, and some of these recommendations have been accepted in the IL & DMEC Rules announced by the Government.
From a user perspective, strengthening the grievance redress mechanisms, the option of voluntary self-verification of user accounts and the right to receive explanatory notification on removal or disablement of access and to seek remedy against the action being taken by the intermediaries should be helpful. This will require the right implementation and should not become onerous for the social media platforms.
In this context, the enclosed Policy Brief analyses the key positives of the IL & DMEC Rules, and provides an overview of the issues that require further consideration from an implementation perspective. It also provides an overview of the tiered obligations imposed upon intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries.
Should you have any questions in relation to the Policy Brief or NASSCOM’s engagement on these issues, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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