Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday hinted that the government could bring out new, improved guidelines if security establishments demanded that the IT Act be strengthened in the wake of the quashing of its Section 66A by the Supreme Court.
He, however, added this will be done “objectively” after the “widest consultation.”
“National security is of utmost importance. If, in the light of the Supreme Court judgment, security establishments need a structured response in the case of terrorism, extremist violence, promotion of communal violence through software technology, the government will take a view,” he told presspersons.
Mr. Prasad, however, said these would be considered in a proper structured way.
Reiterating the government’s support to freedom of speech and expression on the social media, Mr. Prasad said: “Social media has grown a lot, people express their opinions and they have the right to do it. They also have the right to criticise… those in power must be tolerant and must be liberal towards criticism.”
He said with so many people accessing these platforms there was a need for self-regulation on the part of individual as well as the platforms.
Asked how the government would ensure regulation in the light of the judgment, Mr. Prasad said: “If something is really offensive of national security needs, surely there is a process and law.”
The court has laid down guidelines under Section 79, he added.