Twitter-GOI Crossfire: GOI asks Twitter to Respect Indian Laws

The Indian Government on February 11, 2021 have categorically warned the Social Media platforms from the Rajya Sabha. The government said it will take action against Social Media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, if fake news and violence is spread through it.

Highlights

  • While warning these platforms the Union Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said that though there is freedom of speech but Article 19A states this right is subject to reasonable restrictions.
  • He further said, India respects social media since it has empowered common people. It also plays a major role in Digital India programme. But, if these platforms are misused to spread fake news and violence, then strict action will be taken.
  • He asked the social media platforms to comply with the constitution of India.
  • He also said, the Indian constitution allows criticism of the government and the Prime Minister. But it does not allow spreading fake news.
  • The Indian government also expressed displeasure on Twitter’s delayed compliance regarding its order to remove the provocative tweets on the ongoing farmers’ protests.
  • The government also warned that the twitter officials in India would be arrested over the Inflammatory content on the platform specially with the hashtag of farmer’s genocide.
  • The government also said, the platform is not complying with the section 69A of the IT Act.

Section 69A of IT Act

This section gives powers to the authorities to intercept and monitor any information which are generated, transmitted, received or stored in the computer resource if it is necessary to do. This can be done in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India, defence & security of the country and for preventing incitement of any cognizable offence etc. The act also gives power to the government to block internet sites to safeguard the interests of the nation. However, the act does not impose any public emergency restriction for the government.

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