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Govt drafts rules to check fake news on social media

12/24/2018

New Delhi, In order to prevent misuse of social media and spreading of fake news, the Union Electronics and IT Ministry has prepared a draft of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules 2018 to replace the rules notified in 2011 and consultation process is underway. The consultation process was initiated with Inter-Ministerial consultations and thereafter with other stakeholders, including major social media platforms, messaging services platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, WhatsApp and other associations like IAMAI, COAI and ISPAI representing intermediaries, the Ministry said in a statement on Monday. The timeline of submission of comments is January 15, 2019, the statement said.. The Information Technology Act (IT Act), 2000 was enacted with a view to give a fillip to electronic transactions, to provide legal recognition for e-commerce and e-transactions, to facilitate e-governance, to prevent computer based crimes and ensure security practices and procedures. The Act came into force on October 17, 2000. Section 79 of the IT Act elaborates on the exemption from liabilities of intermediaries in certain cases. Section 79(2)(c) mentions that intermediaries must observe due diligence while discharging their duties, and also observe such other guidelines as prescribed by the Central Government. Accordingly, the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 were notified in April 2011. A calling attention motion on “Misuse of Socal Media platforms and spreading of fake News” was admitted in the Rajya Sabha in 2018 Monsoon session. Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also made a detailed statement where he inter alia conveyed to the House the resolve of the Government to strengthen the legal framework and make the social media platforms accountable under the law.

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