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Proposed Web Rules to Threaten the anonymity of Social Media users

2020-02-15

Soon enough major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and TikTok as well as messaging apps such as Whatsapp might have to bow down to controversial Indian regulations by accepting our country’s newly formulated and proposed rules to reveal user identities as reported by major news outlets. The new rules for social media companies and messaging apps expected to be published later this month.

As governments around the world are trying to hold social media companies more accountable for the content that circulates on their platforms, whether it’s fake news, child porn, racist invective or terrorism-related content. India’s new guidelines go further than most other countries’ by requiring blanket cooperation with government inquiries, no warrant or judicial order required.

New rules and guidelines were proposed in December 2018 whilst asking public comment or opinion regarding this matter. The Internet and Mobile Association of India is a trade group that includes all the major tech biggies such as Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google among its members.

The rules cover all social media and messaging apps with more than 5 million users. India, with 1.3 billion people, has about 500 million internet users. It isn’t clear whether the identities of foreign users would be subject to the Indian government’s inquiries.

The guidelines for intermediaries are under process.

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