A very derogatory yet sensitive statement has been passed by the Centre to Supreme Court, commenting on the current scenario of internet. With regard to the internet usage and implications, the Centre called it a “potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to the democratic polity”. The Centre demanded the Supreme Court to look into the matters where rules administrating social media need some revision and a thorough go through too. This has become the case now, according to the Centre because it considers that all laws which keep a check on the social media and internet all together have gone impotent and hence ineffective. This has put the nation and and individual security at stake.
As per an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has asked for a timeline of three months to look into the matters where there has been a misuse and abuse of internet facilities. Additionally, to catch all criminal activities too.
“The deponent (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) has bonafide belief that a further period of three months would be required for finalizing and notifying the final revised rules in accordance with law,” the affidavit read.
This affidavit is a retort of the Supreme Court’s September 24 demand, where it asked the Centre to give a status report on framing guidelines of social media. The deadline of this status report was three weeks. The supreme court is captured and engrossed with petitions itself, which demand transfer of cases on linking of social media accounts with Aadhar. Such petitions are pending from both top court to other high courts too.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information had earlier in December 24 of last year had put up on its website the ‘Information Technology Intermediate Guidelines, 2018’, which has received about 171 ping backs. The new rules concerning intermediaries, which once ruled out and made public will replace the current ones, i.e. ” The Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules m, 2011. These had been put into effect since April 13, 2011.
The petition filed recently in the top court, has said that there should be guidelines, rules and systems in place, which could see to the fact that people no more are able to get away with whatever false, pretentious and inappropriate things they say on social media. All this while, it was pointing to the “dangerous way technology is developing”.
The ministry however took all considerations in its view and declared a well informed, “conscious and bonafide decision”, which additionally called out to all to the intricate web of ministries for the framing of “effective, robust, and comprehensive rules, covering all aspects of matter”. To appreciate such smart move of the Ministry is a must. It took within its view the significant affects of internet and social media as a whole on the present stakeholders; netizens, government departments and ministries, website, messaging platforms, apps etc.
The Ministry said, “In the last few years there has been an enormous increase in the use of social media and with lower Internet tariffs, availability of smart devices and last-mile connectivity, more and more people in India are becoming part of the Internet/social media platforms.”
“If on one hand technology has led to economic growth and societal development, on the other hand there has been an exponential rise in hate speech, fake news, public order, anti-national activities, defamatory postings, and other unlawful activities using Internet/Social media platforms,” it said.
news source – The Tribune