UncategorizedInformation Technology Rules,2021

February 28, 20210


Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 Notified

Regulatory fixed for OTT, Social Media Intermediaries and Online News Website.It was often felt that there should be a regulation to regulate such entities of digital age. The said rules have been issued in terms of Section 79(2)(c) and Section 69A(2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Of late, there have had been unpleasant incidents which led to release of such, finally.Though the Information Technology (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 don’t define “intermediary” but it can be understood from the perspective of Section 2(w) of Information Technology Act,2000, as under;

Section 2(w) “intermediary“, with respect to any particular electronic records, means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecom service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-market places and cyber cafes.

Further, person as referred under the aforesaid rule has to be understood as is defined under Section 2(31) of Income Tax Act,1995;

(31) ” person” includes-

(i) an individual,
(ii) a Hindu undivided family,
(iii) a company,
(iv) a firm,
(v) an association of persons or a body of individuals, whether incorporated or not,
(vi) a local authority, and
(vii) every artificial juridical person, not falling within any of the preceding sub- clauses;

Significant Areas of Rule :
a.Due Diligence will be priority
1.The onus on Social Media platforms to trace first originator will have different algorithm and dynamics in coming days.

2.Responsibilities on Intermediaries on various aspects on privacy, rules of usage, etc.

3. Additional due diligence to be carried out by Significant Social Media likes Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. with an appointment of Chief Compliance Officer as well as Resident Grievance Officer.

They should have also physical contact address in India as well as appointment of Nodal Person.

b. News Publishers will have added responsibilities.

c. Grievance Redressal Mechanism with I,II & III Levels involving various persons at different level.
Level I- self Regulating mechanism, while Level II will have retired HC/SC judges or eminent persons.

d. Disclosure of Information-Grievances to be furnished on regular basis.

Hope, the aforesaid Rules, may be able to bring more accountability of these platforms while without putting their existence in a fix with various restrictions. A detailed white paper by AMLEGALS follow shortly.

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