India Says Twitter Has Now Complied With New Internet Rules
(Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. has complied with India’s new information technology rules, a lawyer representing the federal government told a Delhi court Tuesday.
The government’s lawyer Chetan Sharma said Twitter appears to have adhered to the new laws for now after the social media giant appointed a permanent chief compliance officer-cum-grievance officer and a nodal officer. A local court in Delhi gave the government till Oct. 5 to monitor the company’s compliance and submit a written statement.
The government’s stance indicates an easing of tensions between Twitter and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government’s push to regulate big social media companies. The new rules that came into effect in India this February require social intermediaries such as Twitter, Alphabet Inc.’s Google and YouTube, Facebook Inc. and its WhatsApp messaging platform to assign and appoint local representatives to redress grievances.
Those rules would impose penalties, including possible jail terms, on the assigned individuals if a company fails in its prescribed duties.
During its monthslong confrontation with the government top Twitter officials were summoned by the police, who also visited their offices. A federal minister alleged that the company was trying dictate terms to the the world’s largest democracy.
Multiple Indian courts are currently hearing cases challenging the new internet rules that require stricter compliance and disclosures. Several online news companies allege the rules muzzle press freedom. The court cases include one by Quint Digital Media Ltd. which operates BloombergQuint, a joint venture with Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp has also challenged the rules, which require breaking message encryption if ordered by the authorities. The government says the rules will help fight fake news and cybercrimes.
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