The government is interested in balancing the issues of privacy as well as the interest of safety and trust and “mandatory verification” of social media platforms falls at the intersection of the two, Minister of State for IT Rajeev Chanderashekar said on Wednesday.
During the question hour in the Lok Sabha, the Minister said there is no law or rule that allows for mandatory verification of users who use the social media platforms. However, the IT rules that were promulgated in February, 2021 “very effectively cast an obligation on the intermediaries to be able to detect and identify the first originator of any criminal activity”.
“That is the obligation which has been cast through the subordinate legislation and while that matter has been challenged by some intermediaries, the government is robustly defending its position that this anonymity cannot be a blanket one and first origination should be possible as an obligation on the intermediaries.”
The Minister said the government will continue to expand the scope of this kind of rulemaking to ensure that the Internet is safe and trusted.
“Today, there are over 80 crore Indians using online platforms and this number is expected to reach 120 crore in the next few years…voluntary verification is not aimed to be a deterrent. It is aimed at encouraging the intermediaries to do due diligence on those who are using their platforms,” he said.