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Home / Industry / Media /  Facebook, Google and WhatsApp complying with new IT rules in part

Social media intermediaries operating in India, including global majors Facebook, Google and WhatsApp, and homegrown platforms such as Sharechat and Koo are complying with the government’s new IT rules, either in full or partially, according to two reports by The Economic Times and Techcrunch. Government sources said Twitter is the only outlier, according to the reports.

However, WhatsApp sued the Indian government on 25 May challenging one of the subsections in the new laws, which states that platforms need to trace the first originator of a text, tweet or post. In its petition before the Delhi High Court, WhatsApp argued that the move will break its end-to-end encryption and require the firm to track and trace every user’s posts, which is against the Supreme Court’s 2017 Right to Privacy order. The rules also require firms to hire Indian citizens as chief compliance officers, chief grievance officers, and to respond to legal requests for data within 36 hours. The government had written a letter to social media firms with over 5 million users in India on 26 May, asking for updates on their compliance.

While Koo publicly confirmed its full compliance on 22 May, most others seem to have at least hired Indian citizens in key compliance positions. However, Twitter allegedly shared details of a lawyer working with an Indian law firm as its nodal contact person and grievance officer. As per the new rules, the person needs to be a company employee. Tensions between Twitter and the government rose last week, after the Delhi Police visited the platform’s offices in Gurugram to “serve a notice".

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