The Internet Freedom Foundation*, a digital rights non-profit based in India, has written to Justice AP Shah, Chairman of the IAMAI's controversial Digital Content Complaints Council (DCCC) and new content code (download), raising concerns about the changes in the code (which we reported here), and the opacity of the process (which we had reported here). Download IFF's letter here. The specific concerns raised by IFF: 1. Parallel extra-legal framework giving the government to restrict peoples rights.This restriction, the letter says can happen in two ways: firstly, because the DCCC is designed to have 3 members from national level statutory commissions with the power to impose fines on players. Secondly, because the DCCC is empowered to respond to content related complaints forwarded by multiple government departments. The letter points out that both the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting, and Electronics & IT lack any statutory backing or Court direction, and both have filed counter affidavits in the Delhi High Court in different public interest litigations stating that they do not process such legal powers. 2. Expansion of the scope of the code will hurt creators and dissent: As MediaNama had also pointed out earlier, in comparison to an earlier version of the code (download) the scope of prohibited content has been broadened. The IFF points out that this "goes beyond International Human Rights benchmarks", "will contribute towards collateral censorship", and can "stifle dissenting speech and niche modes of creative expression such as political satire." The letter says that content restrictions could…
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