‘Comply with IT Rules, else...’, Centre issues notice to Twitter again

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: Jun 29, 2022
This is not the first timethe government has written to the US-based company regarding compliance

This is not the first timethe government has written to the US-based company regarding compliance | Photo Credit: Dado Ruvic

Sets July 4 deadline after which the microblogging site stands to lose its intermediary status

With rise in communal disturbances across the country in the last few weeks, the government has issued a notice to micro-blogging site Twitter to comply with all its past orders by July 4.

This is not the first time the government has written to the US-based company regarding compliance. The company has been at loggerheads with the government on several occasions over the last few years.

Intermediary status

According to sources at MeitY, it has set a deadline of July 4, failing which Twitter may lose intermediary status, which means it will be liable for all the comments posted on its platform.

On June 26, the microblogging site submitted a list of over 80 accounts and tweets it has blocked based on a request from the government in 2021. The request was to block multiple accounts and some tweets from international advocacy group Freedom House, journalists, politicians and supporters of the farmers’ protest.

Government sources said there are several other orders, which Twitter is yet to comply with and they have been given a final deadline now.

Most of the requests sent are under Section 69A of the IT Act which allows the Centre or its authorised officer tp seek to block access to information in the interest of sovereignty and integrity, defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence.

‘One last opportunity’

“...MeitY grants one last opportunity to comply with all directions issued under section 69A of the IT Act, by July 4. If Twitter continues to be in violation of these directions and therefore, the IT Act, significant consequences under the IT Act shall prevail, including loss of immunity as available to you being an intermediary under the sub-section (1) of section 79 of the IT Act and liable to punishment to offences as prescribed in the IT Act 2000,” the MeitY notice to Twitter said.

Twitter has received over 17,000 requests from the government between January 2012 and June 2021 for taking down accounts and tweets, out of which it has complied with only 12.2 per cent of requests. It has withheld around 1,600 accounts and 3,800 tweets and action was taken on 6,300 items under Twitter’s term of service.

BusinessLine sent queries to Twitter through mail but did not receive any response till the time of press.

Published on June 29, 2022
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

You May Also Like

Recommended for you