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Intermediary Liability: MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar for removing safe harbour, says platforms must take down unlawful content

Rajeev Chandrasekhar’s submission towards the IT Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018, outlines that while intermediaries ‘must be liable for unlawful and illegal content on their platforms, the approach to regulating them should be carefully thought through’ as more and more Indians get online. Read the whole submission here [pdf]. Key points in Chandrasekhar’s submission He says that a one size fits all and brute force regulatory approaches should be avoided, for they may cause unintended censorship and fettering of free speech and innovation. Chandrasekhar adds, “Information intermediaries are no longer the companies they were when intermediary liability laws first developed, and the role of platforms in society is changing.” He goes on to say that with AI and other tools, intermediaries have “capabilities of pre-emptively filtering the unlawful content than they were in the previous years.” “Hence my contention that intermediaries must no longer enjoy the safe harbor exemption and must be made responsible for the content on their platforms to some extent.” “Intermediaries must be treated differently based on their capacity and means to filter the content. Chandrashekhar outlines the categories intermediaries can be divided into: ISPs Data processing and web hosting providers which transform data, prepare data for dissemination, or store data or content on the Internet for others Internet search engines and portals which aid in navigation on the Internet E-commerce intermediaries and online aggregators which enable online buying or selling Social Media and Messaging Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc (which are also described as Participative…

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I'm a MediaNama alumna from 2015-16 (remember TinyOwl?) now back to cover e-services like food and grocery delivery, app based transport and policies, platforms and media in India.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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