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What is your take on the new IT Rules for social media?
In Questions & Answers
Divya Pratap Parmar
Jun 01, 2021
Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021 sets rules for the Social media platforms in order to maintain smooth functioning of these platforms in India and to aid in reducing crimes. Though by the name it may seem to be a very neat and such a law which made for the benefit of Indian citizens. However, if we look into the specific rules and focus on the wordings, it gives immense power to the Government. Have a look on Rule 4(2): it provides power to the specified authorities to ask for the origin of a message, now according to me the concept is not the issue problem lies in this "authority" because as stated Court and ANY AUTORITY SPECIFIED UNDER SECTION 69 OF IT ACT, now Government is this authority according to IT Act. Ideally this should not be an issue but we all know how this provision can be politically misused when combined with some other vaguely worded rules. Proviso of the same rule provides the grounds for taking this action, one of the ground is Public order which itself is a very wide term and technically with just a creative mind anything and any thing done can be somehow related to public order. This is why Right to Free speech and Expression is being highlighted in the whole issue. Not only this, the practical implication of of these rules will for sure violate the right to privacy and create fear in minds. It is true that reasonable restrictions can be applied but if there is this law providing power to know that I originated a message which at the time I did not knew can be a potential threat when viewed in isolation. now, first: I had no intention it was the action of other person who circulated the cropped message due to which my Right to Privacy was firstly restricted because the government is only worried about the words they focus not the context Second, next time I wont dare to use that platform to share my thoughts. Due to these rules there will be a chilling effect on the citizens as people will fear of sharing personal thoughts, criticisms which are essentials of democracy but these things can easily be taken under the term Public order therefore will create fear in the minds of common people.

Divya Pratap Parmar

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