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Twitter is yet to fully comply with IT Rules 2021 despite three months granted for the same, GOI tells Delhi HC

Interestingly, IT Rule 2021 mandates the appointment of an Indian grievance officer, however, Twitter India hires its California-based officer for India, which does not fall in line with new IT rules guidelines.

The central government has told the Delhi High Court, Monday, that in spite of 3 months time granted to all SSMIs (significant social media intermediaries) to comply with the IT Rules 2021, having expired on May 26, Twitter Inc has failed to fully comply with the same, news agency ANI reported.

The affidavit was filed by the central government after Twitter India filed a reply, Saturday, against a plea seeking action against the microblogging site for its failure to appoint a Resident Grievance Officer as directed under Rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media) Rules, 2021.

IT Rule 2021 mandates appointment of Indian grievance officer, Twitter hires California-based officer for India

In its affidavit, Twitter India had told the Delhi High Court that the social networking platform is in the final stages of hiring a full-time resident grievance officer in accordance with the new IT Rule. Though the microblogging site stated in court on Saturday that it is in the process of appointing a full-time resident grievance officer, that too in accordance with the new IT Rule, the fact is that Twitter has appointed its California-based global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel as the new grievance officer for India. However, the new IT Rules call for an Indian resident for the role.

IT Rules 2021

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 were issued in February this year to bring transparency into the working of social media companies and have already been given 3 months time to comply with the new regulations.

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, which came into effect from May 25, mandates the social media intermediaries with more than 5 million users and providing messaging services to identify the first originator of problematic content that may harm the country’s interests. The companies should also appoint an Indian grievance officer to deal with the complaints.

The non-compliance with rules will result in these platforms losing the intermediary status that provides them immunity from liabilities over any third-party data hosted by them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.

Even though other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp have complied with the new laws, Twitter had last month asked the government for an additional three months for the same.

Government of India sends final notice to Twitter, latter remains nonchalant

On June 5, the Indian Government had issued a final notice to social media behemoth Twitter for compliance with the new Information Technology (Intermediary guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

In a strongly worded letter, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology warned the social media giant that such non-compliance with India’s new IT rules will lead to unintended consequences, including Twitter losing exemption from liability as intermediary available under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2020. It said despite sending two notices, Twitter, in a brazen display of defiance, has not complied with the new digital rules.

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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