Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies that have said they aim to comply with the laws. Messaging giant, WhatsApp, on the other hand sued the Indian government on 25 May, seeking to block the rules from being implemented
NEW DELHI: Google chief executive, Sundar Pichai, has reiterated the company’s plans to comply with India’s new Intermediary Rules. According to a report in the Economic Times, Pichai said the company’s local teams are holding talks with the government, but it will comply with local laws. He also said the company will continue to publish its transparency reports, which include data on the legal information requests it gets from governments.
The new Intermediary Rules were announced by India on 25 February, with the government giving significant social media intermediaries three months to comply with them. They require companies like Google to hire Indian citizens in key compliance roles, respond to legal information requests within 36 hours, and trace texts, posts or tweets to the first originator within the country.
Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies that have said they aim to comply with the laws. Messaging giant, WhatsApp, on the other hand sued the Indian government on 25 May, seeking to block the rules from being implemented. The messaging firm, which uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) technology to preserve user privacy, argued that the rules will require it to track and trace every user’s messages in order to be prepared for legal requests, which is a violation of the Supreme Court’s right to privacy ruling of 2017.
The Indian government has claimed the intention behind the rules is not to violate the right to privacy. It said the rules have been weighed against the test of proportionality, which is an exception mentioned in the right to privacy ruling.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) wrote a letter to significant intermediaries on Wednesday, asking for an update on their compliance status for the new rules.
The letter implies that the intermediaries will lose the safe harbour protections offered to them under Section 79 of India’s IT Act if they are non-compliant with the laws. It also asks for contact details for a chief compliance officer, grievance redressal officer and more. Both Google and Facebook have put out job postings for chief compliance officers on their careers pages.