Home / News / India /  New IT rules empowering, protecting users: Ashwini Vaishnaw

After reviewing the new information technology rules, Minister for Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw on Sunday said these laws are empowering and protecting users. The new IT rules will ensure a safer and more responsible social media ecosystem in India, he added. Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar reviewed the new IT rules with Vaishnaw.

"Reviewed the implementation and compliance of Information Technology Rules, 2021 along with my colleague Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar ji. These guidelines are empowering and protecting users and will ensure a safer and responsible social media ecosystem in India," Vaishnaw posted on Twitter's Indian competitor Koo.

The new IT rules, which came into effect from May 25, mandate major social media companies to establish a grievance redressal mechanism for resolving complaints from users or victims. All social media companies with user base exceeding over 50 lakh are required to appoint a grievance officer to deal with such complaints and share the name and contact details of such officers.

Along with a resident grievance officer, big social media companies are mandated to appoint a chief compliance officer and a nodal contact officer as well. All of three executives should be residents of India.

Failure to comply with the rules lead to removal of intermediary status that protects social media companies from legal liability over content posted on their platforms.

Twitter, which had been in the eye of the storm over its alleged failure to comply with the new IT rules in India, has named Vinay Prakash as its Resident Grievance Officer for India, according to the company's website. It also filed its first compliance report, in which is mentioned receiving 94 grievances and actioning 133 URLs between May 26 and June 25.

However, Facebook-owned Whatsapp has challenged the new IT rules for social media intermediaries requiring the messaging app to trace chats and make provisions to identify the first originator of information, saying they violate the right to privacy and are unconstitutional.

Whatsapp further alleged the requirement of intermediaries enabling the identification of the first originator of information in India upon government or court order puts end-to-end encryption and its benefits “at risk".

Some of the media houses have also challenged the new IT rules and the matter is sub-judice.

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