"The IT Rules, 2021 provide for a robust grievance redressal mechanism. However, there have been many instances that grievance officers of intermediaries either do not address the grievances satisfactorily and/or fairly. In such a scenario, the need for an appellate forum has been proposed to protect the rights and interests of user," the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) said, in a press note accompanying new proposal for amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), Rules 2021. Less than a week after rescinding an earlier copy, on 6th June MeitY released a new version of its proposed amendments for public consultation. The amendment proposed controversial additions to the rules such as a new Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) which would essentially allow government officers to become an authority above a platform's content moderation decisions- possibly increasing government censorship- and adds a requirement for intermediaries to respect citizens’ ‘constitutional’ rights, among others. While most of the provisions remain the same, the new document clarifies on some of the proposed amendments, lays out MeitY's reasoning for them and also specifies that the amendment will not apply to early stage Indian companies or start-ups. On 2nd June, MediaNama had reported that the proposal released for public consultation was withdrawn a day after its release. Comments on the proposal have been invited until 7th July and can be mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com in either MS Word (or compatible format) or machine readable PDF format. Reasoning provided for the proposed…
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