India needs a plan so we are not vulnerable to the ‘splinter net’: Rajeev Chandrasekhar


It doesn’t matter who owns what, we have a uniform set of requirements, says the Minister of State for Electronics and IT

It doesn’t matter who owns what, we have a uniform set of requirements, says the Minister of State for Electronics and IT

As the first step in revising the two-decade-old IT law, the government will submit the draft of the proposed new legal framework for public consultation as early as next month, State Minister for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said Peppystores.

“There is clearly a need for an overall framework of laws, policies and rules. What we need to do is reconsider the IT law, which is 22 years old. Then there are rules derived from the IT ACT and a set of directives that have no legal effect,” the minister said.

He added that the government is considering a new legal framework with the new rule-making opportunities that deal with various issues related to the digital space in a very modern, timely and harmonized way.

“I can’t give an exact timetable as the public consultation will take some time… it might take two or three months… I can assure you that I already have all the papers… We will bring them out for public consultation very soon… possibly.” be in the month of May,” he said.

Hours after the takeover of social media platform Twitter by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar spoke about the need for a legal overhaul of the 22-year-old IT law and stressed the need to ensure India is not vulnerable to internet weaponization.

Elon Musk just bought the social media site Twitter. do you have a look at it

Our view of intermediaries has always been the same: that all intermediaries, big or small, must live up to our expectations of openness, security, trust and accountability. That’s why we have the law and the rules; It doesn’t matter who owns what, we have a standard set of expectations and we stick to them.

Are you satisfied with the IT rules and what has been achieved so far? Do we need more tightening?

The relationship between intermediaries and consumers was unstructured and the rules imposed some accountability. If it is fully optimized we need a legal overhaul, yes we are doing that. It’s common sense that if you’re in 2022 and operating under a 2000 law you need to look back as 22 years is a long time in internet history. I think we will continue to see progress in developing the framework under which everyone on the internet can expect openness and consumers, especially women and children, can expect security, trust and accountability. That is the basis of thinking, not just in India but around the world.

The role and influence of Big Tech was illustrated by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. How do you think we should respond to this?

We will have a trillion dollar digital economy in a few years and a large number of companies will be operating on the Indian internet, so the internet will become an important economic component of our country. So if someone has the power to disconnect the internet, that’s not a good thing. We don’t like the idea that any country should, could be, must be, can be susceptible to this kind of behavior – politically directed behavior, any behavior directed by blackmail.

What can we do? We must ensure that we cannot be disconnected from the grid; Intermediaries must abide by the rules and laws of India. Weaponizing the Internet, or “Splinternets,” is something we must plan to avoid being vulnerable. It’s a goal for us.

How is this to be achieved?

Many things happen and they are complex things, nothing is simple. Bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries must increasingly evolve in such a way that nothing can be done in isolation from other countries. A conversation has already begun on these issues, issues that technology brokers must not leave unregulated, also to dispel the belief that the Internet has no borders, that no law in any country will be able to reach those who commit crimes commit in another jurisdiction while the victim resides in another jurisdiction

What do you say about the relationship between intermediaries and the government – ​​there have been frictions in the past.

Our view is very clear, Article 19(2) regulates the exceptions to freedom of expression. In cyberspace. There is jurisdiction that goes beyond 19(2) because there are user damages as well. As long as it passes a certain test, that content will be removed or the person will be banned from the platform. What is the test of the law that this person fails? Currently, under certain sections, the government has the right to remove content, and as long as the process is transparent, it’s a right every sovereign government has.

A new cyber security policy should come out…

There is clearly a need for an overall framework of laws, guidelines and rules. Should we move to a model where you have a new legal framework, with the new ability to legislate, that deals with all related issues in a modern, contemporary way and harmonizes them all with each other? For example, cybersecurity is in a silo, it will be in a silo of user harm. Nothing is done in this ministry without public consultation. I can’t give a timetable, but the concept note and our proposals will be published as early as May.

Has there been a lot of talk about verifying accounts? What is your opinion?

We don’t think verifying accounts solves anything. We already have the rules for identifying the first author in litigation, but we are clear on our position. This position is legally impeccable. I have said in Parliament that we do not believe in verification because verification means I know who you are and that will limit your freedom of speech. You can’t say many things when I know who you are. As a government, we do not wish to restrict your right to freedom of expression and therefore you can remain anonymous. However, if it is a crime, you cannot say that we will not allow the clauses identifying the first author.

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