The government is working on amending the IT rules for intermediaries like Facebook and Google to make them more responsive and accountable, Parliament was informed on Monday.
“Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is in the process of amending the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, to make the intermediaries more responsive and accountable,” Minister of State for Electronics and IT Sanjay Dhotre said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
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The rules are currently being finalised, he added.
Mr. Dhotre said Section 79(1) of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, grants intermediaries a conditional immunity with regard to any third party content uploaded on their platforms.
However, this immunity is subject to provisions of certain other sections of the Act, he added.
“Section 79 of the IT Act already provides safe harbour protection to intermediaries subject to their following due diligence as prescribed in IT (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011 notified under this section.
“Government respects right of freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in the constitution of India,” he said.
The intermediaries are expected to disable any unlawful content relatable to Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India as and when brought to their knowledge either through a court order or through a notice by appropriate government or its agency, Mr. Dhotre added.