MediaNama invites you to apply to attend our round-table discussion on the way forward for Intermediary Liability, being held in Bangalore on November 22nd (Fri) 2019.

You can apply here: http://bit.ly/il02bangalore

This follows a very sharp discussion we had in Delhi, looking at amendments to these rules and what they mean for platforms, citizens, and the Internet, and discussed scenarios in which proposed changes (details below) had been implemented. Read about those discussions here.

Why are we doing this? The Indian government has said that it will notify rules that will change the way Intermediaries (ISPs, cloud service providers, SAAS companies, Ad Networks, etc) by the 15th of January 2020.

This follows a case where traceability is potentially being enforced on online intermediaries, and MeitY’s consultation on proposed amendments to the Safe Harbour rules which cover Intermediary Liability. These rules contain due diligence processes for platforms to follow, in order to be not held liable for content that flows through them, and sought to expand these rules to include:

  • 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 [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)].

At the same time, end-to-end encryption is under threat, with the governments of US, UK and Australia asking Facebook to not implement end to end encryption across their services. This is also in the context of:

  • The RBI looking to regulate payment aggregators (which are intermediaries),
  • The Delhi High Court ordering a global takedown of content in the Baba Ramdev case, and
  • The recent discussions of WhatsApp being hacked using the Pegasus software from the NSO group

Intermediary liability protections are important for the growth of the Internet. Encryption enables trust and safety in community. Our discussion will look at the status of end to end encryption, the status of the traceability case, the applicability of the safe harbor provisions and the proposed amendments to the rules.


This is an invite-only session, you can apply to attend here. Please feel free to suggest points of discussion and questions you think ought to be raised, in the application form.

Important:

  • Registration does not guarantee attendance. In case you fit our mandate for the intended audience, we’ll send you a confirmation on or before November 19th, 2019.
  • Your contact information will never be shared with anyone outside of MediaNama.

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