India: Coalition urges govt. to withdraw amendments to information technology rules that would endanger freedom of expression

Author: Access Now (USA), Published on: 28 March 2019

"Global coalition urges India to withdraw proposed amendments", 16 Mar 2019

[A] global coalition of civil society and technology experts sent a joint letter to the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, asking the Government of India to withdraw the draft amendments proposed to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules... Released publicly [in] December last year, reportedly after private consultations with some technology firms, the proposed amendments would modify the “Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011”... Any entity, person or platform, which receives, stores, processes, or transmits electronic information on behalf of another is considered an intermediary under the Information Technology Act in India... [L]etter... signed by an international coalition of 31 organizations and individuals, explains how the proposed amendments threaten fundamental rights and the space for a free internet, while not addressing the problems that the Ministry aims to resolve. A key concern is the requirement for intermediaries to “enable tracing out of such originator” of content that an intermediary hosts, which could lead to demands that providers weaken the security features of their products and services. This threat to privacy would in turn endanger free expression... The global coalition requests that the Government... withdraw the proposed amendments...and start a fresh consultation process to establish a rights-respecting framework in India...

Read the full post here