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Mozilla calls proposed IT rule changes for intermediaries ‘blunt and disproportionate’

MeitY's new proposed rules for intermediaries are “blunt and disproportionate solutions” to issues surrounding harmful online content, Mozilla Corporation said in a statement to MediaNama. Free speech vs regulation: a fine balance Content pulldown: Mozilla emphasizes that the new rules propose that all intermediaries, including social media companies, e-commerce platforms, and ISPs, have to “proactively remove ‘unlawful’ user content”, or face consequences. The company says the requirement will eventually lead to “over-censorship and chill free expression.” Amba Kak, public policy advisor at Mozilla, said that although there is a need for new ways to hold social media platforms to higher standards, the proposed law disproportionately weakens the present intermediary liability protections. “Any regulatory intervention on this complex issue must be preceded by a wide ranging and participatory consultation process,” she said in the statement. 2. Traceability and end-to-end encryption: The company also notes that the proposed amendments introduce a “sharp blow” to end-to-end encryption, which is used across platforms and apps. The proposed amendment includes a section which requires platforms to enable traceability, and hand over information to government bodies within 72 hours. Mozilla is of the opinion that while harmful online content affects the overall health of the internet, there has to be a balance between regulation of online content, and fundamental rights and free speech guaranteed by the Constitution. “This is a delicate and critical balance, and not one that should be approached with hurried policy proposals,” says the statement. Apart from the above, Mozilla lists its main concerns…

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