Twitter lost legal protection in India for failing to implement the mandatory measures provided for by the new law, called Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, effective from the end of May. This means that the company headed by Jack Dorsey will be considered criminally responsible for any content posted by users on the social network. WhatsApp has reported the Indian government because complying with the law would violate users’ privacy.
Twitter without immunity in India
Under the new law, IT companies with over 5 million users in India must appoint a set of managers who will receive content deletion requests from the government. The Minister of Electronics and Information Technology filed a complaint in court, stating that Twitter has lost immunity because he did not fulfill any of the obligations.
Internet services enjoy a sort of “protective shield“, As they are not held responsible for the content posted by users. Basically they just have to delete the post, if they get an order from the judge. Having lost this protection, Twitter will be directly called into question. Company executives could be incriminati for what users say and write online.
Indian police have already filed five complaints against Twitter executives. However, legal experts believe that any liability must be established by a judge, not by the Indian government. IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said US companies can continue to do business in India, but must comply with local laws. A lengthy legal battle is therefore expected.
Categories: Digital Economy