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India needs a new digital law to replace outdated IT Act, should set the bar for an open and safe internet: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

The junior IT minister also indicated that the government will spend more time deliberating on the Data Protection Bill.

India needs a new digital law because our current legislation, the Information Technology (IT) Act, is two decades old, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on February 16 at the Nasscom Tech and Leadership Forum 2022. The IT Act, 2000, currently governs most aspects of India's digital landscape such as intermediary regulation, cybercrime, and e-commerce. The IT Rules, 2021, which were notified in February last year to regulate social media, streaming and news media platforms were framed as subordinate legislation to the IT Act. What should the new digital law take into consideration? 1. Should be flexible and evolvable: Chandrasekhar explained that any future legislation for the internet space should not be rigid and focused on the present and should rather be flexible with scope for a wider interpretation given the evolving nature of technology. "It is important to get the next bit of legislation very right. And I don't mean very right in terms of the details of the right as much as the ability for it to be flexible and evolvable. I think we would be making a big mistake if we move into legislation that is very hard coded, very embedded in terms of principles that may not be necessarily evolvable and current." – Rajeev Chandrasekhar 2. India must be part of the global digital economy: Chandrasekhar explained that India must be part of the global digital economy and owing to the nature of the internet, data will inevitably flow between jurisdictions and countries. "There…

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