New IT rules do not violate international rights, UN told

Updated on Jun 21, 2021 04:34 AM IST

The new IT rules, or the Information Technology Rules, 2021, were notified by the Central government on February 25. They came into effect on May 25 and have led to a storm over compliance.

Some of the stakeholders are not on the same page with the government. (HT FILE PHOTO)
Some of the stakeholders are not on the same page with the government. (HT FILE PHOTO)
ByMalavika PM, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Indian government said in a statement on Sunday that the new information technology rules were drawn up after taking various stakeholders into confidence and in no way flout international human rights norms as alleged by United Nations special rapporteurs in a letter on June 11.

Responding to a letter sent by the UN Rapporteurs to the Government of India on June 11, the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva, said the ministries “undertook broad consultations in 2018 with various stakeholders - including individuals, civil society, industry association and organizations - and invited public comments to prepare the draft rules. Thereafter an inter-ministerial meeting discussed in detail the comments received in detail and, accordingly, the rules were finalised”.

The new IT rules, or the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, were notified by the Central government on February 25. They came into effect on May 25 and have led to a storm over compliance.

But some of the stakeholders are not on the same page with the government. “What you see today is 40% longer than the draft they put out for consultations in December 2018. Two whole chapters were added without any consultation,” said Raman Jit Singh Chima, senior international counsel and Asia Pacific policy director at Access Now, a digital advocacy body.

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