India: Global Network Initiative raises concerns about proposed amendments to cyber legislation

Author: Global Network Initiative (GNI), Published on: 19 February 2019

"GNI Submission on Draft Amendments to Intermediary Guidelines in India", 31 Jan 2019

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information (MeitY) recently issued a call for comment on proposed amendments to intermediary guidelines under the Information Technology Act...[M]embers agree that the proposed amendments could place significant pressures on a range of information and technology companies to monitor users activities, remove content, and hand over data in ways that could unnecessarily and inappropriately impact users’ freedom of expression and privacy.

At a minimum, amendments should: 
(i) ensure key provisions, such as the definitions of illegal content and appropriate authorities are refined and clarified; 
(ii) allow for appropriate company review of and, where appropriate, legal challenges to content removal or user-data request orders; 
(iii) eliminate, or significantly limit, situations where companies will be ordered, expected or encouraged to implement “proactive measures”; and 
(iv) revise and clarify provisions under which companies will be expected to designate legal entities for 24/7 coordination with local enforcement agencies.

Since 2012, GNI has worked on intermediary liability issues in India, including commissioning a report that demonstrated how greater legal certainty for online intermediaries could help unleash the economic potential of the ICT sector...

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