Asaduddin Owaisi opposes draft of govt policy seeking to regulate OTT, social media platforms

Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday opposed the draft of ther rules to regulate content on Internet intermediaries and streaming platforms.

In a series of tweets Owaisi he expressed his dissent against the draft Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

“Currently, many messaging platforms are end to end encrypted. No one except sender and recipient of a message knows about its content, now government rules wants to force platforms to trace the ‘originator’ of forwarded messages,” Owaisi tweeted.

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“Government forcing platforms to trace messages on vague grounds of ‘sovereignty/integrity of India, security of State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order’ can cover all types of lawful speech. From news reports on Prime Minister’s weakness on Chinese intrusions to ‘Modi job do’, anything can be covered,” his tweet further read.

“Proposals to implement traceability have been shown to be vulnerable to spoofing where bad actors can falsify originator information to frame innocents. Originators also have no control over who forwards the content, or how many times it is forwarded,” other tweet read.

“Government already has too many powers to surveil. We don’t have privacy laws that protect us from a government that constantly wants to know about our private conversations. There’s no parliamentary oversight or judicial or redress against abuse of power. These rules must be opposed,” Owaisi tweeted.

Amidst growing concerns around lack of transparency, accountability and rights of users related to digital media and after elaborate consultation with the public and stakeholders, the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 has been framed in exercise of powers under section 87 (2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and in supersession of the earlier Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2011, informed the Ministry of Electronics & IT on Thursday.

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