After recent tweets from Rihanna and Greta Thunberg raising concerns with Internet Shutdowns and Farm Protests in India, the Indian Government was unable to force Twitter to take down accounts of people supporting these protests, including accounts of media organizations like the caravan. The Government of India has now amended Intermediary Rules of 2011 and brought in new rules called Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 granting more powers to the government. These rules try to regulate social media platforms, digital publication platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime but also have included digital press publications under the Information Technology Act.
With these new rules, some publishers have approached the Delhi High Court challenging the limited portion of the regulating news media under these rules. The new intermediary rules try to regulate any organization with digital presence, but the way the Government wants to regulate them can harm the idea of open internet according to a statement from Mozilla Foundation.
In this episode guest host, Srinivas Kodali spoke to Prashanth Sugathan, a lawyer with the Software Freedom Law Centre to explain to us what these new rules are and why the digital media publishers have approached the court.