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Guide: All you need to know about the new IT Rules, 2021

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The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 notified last week will likely change how the internet functions in the country. The Rules can be divided broadly into three areas — (i) internet and social media intermediaries (ii) digital news and (iii) OTT streaming services. The Rules mandate a laundry list of compliance requirements on intermediaries and social media platforms. Perhaps the mandate most worthy of concern is "traceability", wherein significant social media intermediaries (social media companies with more than 5 million users in India) are required to enable the tracing of a message originator, potentially compromising end-t0-end encryption on their platforms. Meanwhile, on the digital news and OTT front, the I&B ministry has prescribed a "self-regulatory" regime, all the while giving itself powers to virtually block any content on an emergency basis. We have put…

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