Reportedly, the Indian Government has proposed new rules with a goal to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation in the country on social media because of which local civil liberties group are not happy. Last month, the Internet Freedom Foundation had given a statement saying that these new rules will act as a sledgehammer to online free speech.
Indian Government wants to make it compulsory for platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and Google to remove the content which they found unlawful within 24 hours of notice, and also to create automated tools to proactively identify and remove material. They also want tech companies to detect the source of content that would require platforms like WhatsApp to break end-to-end encryption.
The proposed rules and regulations would change Section 79 of India’s IT Act which is the primary law in the country for online commerce and cybercrime. If the proposed amendments are approved platforms like Facebook and Twitter will have to censor that content which the Indian Government finds inappropriate. Furthermore, the amended law would require these companies to produce user messages if the government requests in case of causing problems.
After the amendments, Social media platforms would also have to remind their users about the policy on monthly basis. In case, if the rules are approved then the platforms have to introduce new tools to automatically remove content that the Indian government has already considered illegal.
According to Wired, it includes “hate speech against certain protected groups, defamation, child abuse, and depictions of rape.”
Long ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg has said that the company is manufacturing better artificial intelligence system so that the flagging content would get removed before even posted. Apart from all the laws and rules, still the content makes its way to get into users feed every single day. Like last month, Tumblr incorporated its own AI tools in order to remove pornography, but it has failed to remove some of the items.
Also, at the start of this month, Australian government passed an encryption bill that would require all the platforms to give law enforcement agencies access to encrypted communications to stop terrorist and criminals networks who rely on this source of communication.