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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 07 February, 2021

  • 6 Min Read

IT Act, 2000: Important Provisions vis-a-vis Social Media Regulation

Tackling harmful content such as hate speech, rumours, inflammatory and provocative messages and child pornography need cooperation between technology services companies and law enforcement agencies.

Information Technology Act, 2000, as amended from time to time, governs all activities related to the use of computer resources.

Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000

  • It covers all ‘intermediaries’ who play a role in the use of computer resources and electronic records.
  • It includes providers of telecom service, network service, Internet service and web hosting, besides search engines, online payment and auction sites, online marketplaces and cyber cafes.
  • It includes any person who, on behalf of another, “receives, stores or transmits” any electronic record.
  • Social media platforms would fall under this definition.
  • Section 69 of the Act confers on the Central and State governments the power to issue directions “to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.
  • Grounds on which these powers may be exercised are: in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order.
  • Intermediaries are required to preserve and retain specified information in a manner and format prescribed by the Centre for a specified duration.
  • Contravention of this provision may attract a prison term that may go up to 3 years.
  • Intermediaries such as Internet and data service providers are protected from being made liable for content that users may post or generate.
  • However, the exemption from liability does not apply if there is evidence that the intermediary abetted or induced the commission of the unlawful act involved.

Source: TH


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