The Government of India is in its next phase of implementation of the intermediary rules 2021. It is likely to offer clarifications in the form of detailed guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to complement the IT rules. This will act as a rule book that law enforcement agencies can follow while seeking information or content takedowns from social media platforms, ET reported.
A senior government official said that non-compliance can invite criminal penalties on key company executive officers. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology is in the process of framing such guidelines.
As of now, non-compliance of the rules is not an offence per se. It simply exposes intermediaries to criminal actions for content posted by users. The Supreme Court had remarked that the rules ‘lack teeth’.
What all will it cover?
The official said, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will provide details on the procedure to issue notices, who can issue notices, and their implementation mechanism. The SOP will also explain the procedure that law enforcement will have to follow to get information or cooperation from an intermediary.
A Central Portal for Takedowns?
While the Internet and Mobile Association of India had earlier asked the Central Government to restrict state governments from issuing takedown notices, it has also recommended the government to develop a central portal through which communication regarding takedown requests can be carried.
The government is said to be considering the request.