Twitter has finally responded to India’s new IT rules and said it will make efforts to comply with applicable law in India. In response to a question, Twitter told India Today Tech that it is particularly concerned about the requirement to hold an individual (the compliance officer) criminally responsible for platform content, proactive monitoring requirements. and the general authority to seek information about our customers.
Twitter goes on to add that this represents dangerous overbreadth that is inconsistent with open and democratic principles.
“Twitter is deeply attached to the Indian people. Our service has proven to be vital for public conversation and a source of support for people during the pandemic. To keep our service available, we will endeavor to comply with applicable law in India. But, just as we do in the world, we will continue to be strictly guided by principles of transparency, a commitment to empower every voice on the service and to protect freedom of expression and privacy within the framework. rule of law, ”a Twitter spokesperson said.
Twitter also urged the Department of Electronics and Computing to release these standard operating protocols on procedural aspects of compliance for public comment.
The company also requested an extension for Twitter to enforce the rules. Twitter India has asked the ministry to consider an extension of at least three months for Twitter to enforce the rules.
The company added that it continues to accept complaints from users and law enforcement through its existing recourse channel available here under the new rules.
The company also expressed its views on recent events in India where it had been given notice.
“At this time, we are concerned about recent events regarding our employees in India and the potential threat to the freedom of expression of the people we serve. We, along with many members of civil society in India and around the world, are concerned about the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to the application of our terms of service, as well as ‘to the essentials of the new IT rules,’ a Twitter spokesperson said. “We plan to advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that prevent free and open public dialogue.” We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Government of India and believe it is essential to adopt a collaborative approach. It is the collective responsibility of elected officials, industry and civil society to safeguard the interests of the public, ”added the spokesperson.
While discussing the retention of a few accounts, Twitter added that it received a notice of non-compliance and withheld some of the content identified in the blocking order under its country content withheld policy. However, the company adds that, in accordance with its principles of defending protected speech and freedom of expression, it has not taken any action on the audited accounts which consist of news entities, journalists, activists and politicians.
According to Twitter, escalated content constitutes legitimate freedom of expression. Yet due to the limited scope of the law under Section 69A, which gives an intermediary limited leeway to defend content, it was forced to decline in response to a notice of non-compliance. Failure to do so entails criminal consequences with many risks for Twitter employees, the company adds.