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#NAMApolicy on Safe Harbor: Should different sizes or categories of intermediaries be regulated differently?

A participant at MediaNama's discussion in Bangalore on the Indian governments changes to Safe Harbor argued that the way the rules are framed, "are encouraging over-compliance. Before Shreya Singhal, it was clear that intermediaries err on the side of caution. The fear of liability and uncertainty is very high. The law is being brought back to a place where control is the overriding narrative. It controls how intermediaries look at content, and not just goods. It’s about how they function. They always function on a defense, so it’s different from seeing that something is not contrary to the law." Another participant pointed towards infosec parlance, saying that "One is the liberal infosec parlance, which is what talks about an intermediary medium [and Safe Harbor], and the other is the Chinese and Russian infosec doctrines which talk about control, which says I want to control info propagated within the country." "It talks about bad content, good content, punishing intermediaries, and so on. A lot of stuff on control is baked in the rules. It’s not about Dunzo or Practo. It’s about the complete exercise of the information architecture and the flow of information in the country." These changes in rules, the participant said, map the Russian infosec doctrine. These discussions were held under the Chatham House Rule: comments can be cited but not attributed. A substantial part of our #NAMA discussion in Bangalore was spent debating the criteria for regulating intermediaries, and within that, defining intermediaries for regulation: Intermediaries are supposed…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

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