Non-compliance with new guidelines: Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp run the danger of losing legal immunity

Intermediaries like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and so forth run the danger of losing immunity from criminal proceedings beneath the Information Technology Act, if they fail to comply with the new Intermediary recommendations notified by the government on February 25, which comes into force from May 26.

The government had offered such firms 3 months to comply with the new guidelines but as on Monday none of the firms have carried out so. Instead, they have beneath aegis of business associations sought a six-month extension for compliance as the Pandemic has crippled their typical workplace work.

The new guidelines mandate intermediaries like WhatsApp to recognize the 1st originator of messages deemed mischievous by government, whereas other folks like Facebook and Twitter will need to pull down unlawful content inside 36 hours of getting flagged.

The revised social media guidelines had been notified on February 25 and for substantial intermediaries, the implementation was to come into impact immediately after 3 months. A social media firm possessing more than 5 million customers in India is termed as a substantial intermediary.

The new guidelines also mandate that substantial social media intermediaries like Facebook, Google, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, and so forth. must appoint a chief compliance officer based in India, who shall be accountable for guaranteeing compliance with the Act and guidelines.

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A nodal make contact with individual must be appointed for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies. Another resident grievance officer must be appointed for performing functions talked about beneath grievance redressal mechanism.

Grievance officer shall acknowledge the complaint inside 24 hours and resolve it inside fifteen days from its receipt. The social media firms will need to set up a voluntary verification mechanism, so that fake accounts are not designed on the platforms. Also, substantial social media firms must have a physical address in India.

These new regulations have been framed beneath the Information Technology Act, 2000.

But many associations representing these huge social media firms like IAMAI, Ficci, Nasscom amongst other folks, have written to the government that substantial social media intermediaries may possibly be offered a additional period of six months from the present deadline for compliance. Reasoning in favour of extension, Nasscom has stated that the Ministry of Electronics and IT may possibly take month-to-month progress reports to make sure that the timelines are adhered to by the concerned intermediaries.

The associations have highlighted that some of the obligations are anticipated to be tough to comply inside a remote work context, which has been necessitated in view of the unforeseen surge in Covid-19 situations in India, the accompanying restrictions on movement of persons, and the short-term closure of physical workplace spaces.

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Moreover, some of the alterations, especially these requiring solution and method alterations – such as advertisement transparency, measures to allow tracing of 1st originator of messages, and the creation of the workplace of the Chief Compliance Officer, would demand more time for compliance.

The government is anticipated to take a contact on Tuesday relating to the extension.

Originally appeared on: TheSpuzz