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Media & Technology Laws: “Following” The Twitter Conflict

We had shared a note on the media law amendments which we had stated were “game-changing.”

We will navigate the bitter Twitter conflict on this very amendment here:

The Government of India has inter alia noted the following violations by Twitter in its press release dated May 27, 2021.

A. Non-appointment of an India-based grievance redressal officer and mechanism;

B. Non-appointment of a Chief Compliance Officer;

C. Non-appointment of a nodal office; and

D. Twitter’s refusal of the government order to block on Red Fort which the statement akins to the Capitol Hill incident.

This is released in a public statement- and is also ironically on the Twitter handle of the relevant ministry:

Press Information Bureau (pib.gov.in)

This press-note does not speak of encryption and data traceability.

Technically in our view, A-D is the “low-hanging fruit” of compliance. For context, this is an extract of our update note which links well into the current reality:

“The 2021 Rules impose a higher threshold of compliance mandates for “significant social media intermediaries”. In addition to the requirements in the table above, significant social intermediaries have to comply with the following:

1. Resident key officers: Appoint “employees” who are residents of India as (i) chief compliance officer; (ii) nodal contact person, and (iii) resident grievance officer. A grievance redressal mechanism, to receive complaints must allow the complainant to track the complaint. Additionally, it must provide reasons for action taken against the complaint, to the extent possible and a reasonable opportunity to be heard.

2. Compliance reports: Publish detailed monthly compliance reports on actions taken on content moderation, automated or otherwise.

3. Identification of originator: Enable identification of first originator of information upon receipt of a court or government order directing the same.

4. Filtering mechanisms: Deploy automated mechanisms (with “human oversight”) to identify child sexual abuse material, rape and removal of content that is a replication of previously removed content.”

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