India’s cyber legislation is part of a worrying trend

Author: Quinn Libson, Asia News Network (ANN), Published on: 24 January 2019

"India’s cyber legislation is part of a worrying trend", 17 January 2019

The new pieces of legislation were proposed as 2018 came to a close and require technology companies like Facebook and Google to store user data locally, and would also require these companies to police content and remove material the government of India deems unlawful.  Such content would include messages that threaten the “sovereignty and integrity of India.” The rules requires these companies to take action on such messages within a 24 hour period...

New rules also mandate that companies reveal the origin of particular messages when that information is requested...These new regulations will not only affect these companies’ ability to do business in India, but also, as the country’s edges closer to national elections, these rules have rights defenders worried about the potential they have to make online expressions of dissent even more fraught.

Laws like these follow along a worrying trend line in India. 2018 saw a slew of arrests against rights activists. Amnesty International called out this episode for “creating an atmosphere of fear" and accused the Indian government of threatening “core human rights values.”...Similarly, 2018 was a year for backsliding when it comes to Indian press freedom...

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Related companies: Facebook Google (part of Alphabet) Whatsapp (part of Facebook)