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Updated: Public Listing Of Comments On India’s Internet Control Rules

Update: We’ve updated the list of comments below with scans of responses from Google, Yahoo, IAMAI, CII, DSCI, MAIT and USIBC. We received these documents in response to an Right To Information request filed with the DIT.

This public listing of comments is is now complete.

May 13th 2011:India’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) had, earlier this year, sought comments from Industry bodies and people on draft rules related Section 79 of the IT Act, which in their draft and finalized versions allow the Indian government to control content on the Internet; effectively, India’s Internet Control Rules.

The DIT was expected – much like the TRAI does with consultations – to create a public listing of comments submitted. From what we’ve seen on their website, they haven’t. The DIT has stated in a press release that “None of the Industry Associations and other stakeholders objected to the formulation which is now being cited in some section of media”, which is not true. More on that here. We’re creating (below) a own public listing of comments submitted to the DIT on these rules, so if you’ve sent your comments/recommendations to the DIT, please do share a copy with us. See for yourself if there have been any objections to the draft rules, which is fairly similar to the final ones:

Comments Received/Published (Zip files contain scans)

*Note: CIS informs us that they had submitted their comments to the DIT, but we didn’t get a copy of their filing from the DIT. It appears that for some unexplained reason, their comments were not taken on board. We’re including them here, nevertheless, for your reference

– Declined To Share: IAMAI
– No response (to our mail): from ASSOCHAM, Bharti Airtel, FICCI, Google India, Nokia India, Yahoo India, Times Internet Ltd

Other Responses

– eBay India and Rediff.com say that they submitted their comments to the IAMAI, not the DIT. The IAMAI has declined to share its comments.

Note: these are comments that have been submitted for the Draft rules, and there is no consultation on the final rules. MediaNama’s view on this is that there needs to be further consultation, given the issues with the final rules. Many of the objections raised with respect to the draft rules have not been incorporated in the final rules.

Secondly, we’re filing an RTI request for copies of comments submitted, so might as well save us the waiting and send us a copy.

Update 1: We’ve filed a Right To Information request today with the Department of Information Technology, at the Kashmere Gate GPO in Delhi. Our filing here. Download a sample RTI form here, change the details in the highlighted portion, and file it at any General Post Office (view a list). Will cost you only Rs. 10, plus Rs. 2 per page if you’re sent lots of documents.

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