On the 24th of December 2018, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology released proposed amendments to the IT Rules governing Section 79 of the IT Act, which cover Intermediary Liability, i.e., the provisions that provide a safe harbor for platforms including payments services, content services, ISPs, among other. Changes to the rules mean that intermediaries could end up being liable for the behavior of users, and unable to take on the liability.

The ministry is taking inputs on the amendments to the rules (download) till the 31st of January, and counter comments will be accepted till the 14th of February, 2019.

To help with participation in the consultation process, MediaNama is hosting two curated discussions on these changes:

1) Bangalore (St Mark’s Hotel), January 25.
2) Delhi (India Habitat Centre), February 7.

You can apply to attend here (for both Bangalore & Delhi)

 

 

The discussion in Delhi will be during the counter comments stage.

Changes being made

The provisions are being expanded to include, among other things:

  • Traceability, and information within 72 hours: The new rules require platforms to introduce traceability to find where a piece of information originated. For this, platforms may have to break end-to-end encryption. The rules require the intermediary to hand over information or assistance to government bodies in 72 hours, including in matters of security or cybersecurity, and for investigative purposes. [Rule 3(5)]
  • Platforms with more than 50 lakh users are required to be registered under the Companies Act, have a physical address in the country, have a nodal officer who will cooperate with law enforcement agencies, etc. [Rule 3(7)]
  • Platforms have to pull down unlawful content within a shorter duration of 24 hours from the earlier 36 hours. They also have to keep records of the “unlawful activity” for 180 days – double the period of 90 days in the 2011 rules – as required by the court or government agencies [Rule 3(8)]
  • Platforms have to deploy tools to proactively identify, remove and disable public access to unlawful information or content. [Rule 3(9)]
  • The new rules insert a monthly requirement on platforms to inform users of the platforms’ right to terminate usage rights and to remove non-compliant information at their own discretion. [Rule 3(4)

Apart from this, India is considering amending Section 79 of its Information Technology Act to enable regulation of platforms, according to a statement from the Minister of Electronics and Information Technology in Parliament.

SESSION PLAN (BANGALORE)
12:30 PM – 01:30 PM: Check-in & Lunch
01:45 PM – 03:45 PM: Round table on the Future of Safe Harbor
03:45 PM – 04:45 PM: High-Tea

We’ll have more details on Delhi later.

Important

  • This discussion will be held under Chatham House Rule: you may take notes and report on the content of the discussion without identifying any speaker or their organisation.
  • Registration does not guarantee attendance. In case you fit our mandate for the intended audience, we’ll send you a confirmation on or before January 6, 2019. These discussions are curated and participative in nature.

Apply here to attend the discussion in Bangalore & Delhi. Your contact information will never be shared with anyone outside of MediaNama.

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