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Govt to notify new intermediary rules by January 2020

Govt to notify new intermediary rules by January 2020
Photo Credit: Reuters

The notification of new intermediary rules by the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) will be completed by January 15, 2020.

An affidavit to this effect was submitted to the Supreme Court by Pankaj Kumar, additional secretary at MeitY, on Monday in response to the transfer petition filed by Facebook.

On September 24, the Supreme Court had directed the union government to file an affidavit within three weeks to notify the status of intermediary guidelines.

The apex court was hearing the matter demanding the transfer of petitions for linking Aadhaar to Facebook and WhatsApp.

“Internet has emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity. It was felt that the extant rules be revised for effective regulation of intermediaries keeping in view the ever-growing threats to individual rights and nation’s integrity, sovereignty, and security,” said the affidavit, a copy of which was reviewed by TechCircle.

The affidavit further added that the government had said it will initiate measures for amendment of the existing Intermediaries Guidelines Rules, 2011 to prevent misuse of the social media platform for the propagation of fake news.

The affidavit also said MeitY had received 171 comments in response to the draft Information Technology Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018.

The ministry had also held consultations and discussions with chambers of commerce, associations, social media companies as well as inter-ministerial consultations with the ministry of home affairs, ministry of health and family welfare, ministry of women and child development and ministry of commerce.

The case will now be listed in the last week of January 2020 to be heard by the two-judge bench of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Aniruddha Bose, according to media reports.

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