Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter will now get a month’s time to remove objectionable content from their websites. Currently, they have to do so within 36 hours of receiving a complaint. This is part of the amendments proposed in the IT Act.
The amendments will take effect after Parliament approves them, very likely this session itself.
This is good news for the search engines and social networking sites as they will now get more time to sort out disputes with the government.
Facebook and Twitter, in particular, have had several face-offs with the government over the past year for carrying content the authorities found objectionable.
“The proposed amendment will give the offending parties a license to do what they want,” said Pavan Duggal, a Delhi-based IT law expert.
Under the proposed law, the site “shall acknowledge the complaint within 36 hours of its receipt... Further, the grievance officer shall redress such a complaint promptly but in any case within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint.”
The Google India spokesperson declined to comment as the company had no knowledge of the proposed amendments.