The proposal for a Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) received whole-hearted approval in comments submitted by IT for Change (ITfC) during the public consultation on the proposed amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. This would mark one of the first times that the proposal for a GAC. The GAC is envisaged to involve a committee of Central government-appointed members adjudicating on user actions taken by platforms, received some positive reception. ITfC, a Bangalore-based think tank's, comments were submitted during the public consultation that concluded last month. Apart from praising the proposed GAC, it urged the government to refer to existing guidelines for making businesses comply with international human rights, create definitions for virality, and give details of how the GAC would function. Below we have summarised its comments. On June 6th, the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology had released a set of proposed amendments to the 2021 Rules for public consultation. The Rules propose significant changes to the existing IT Rules as well as regime governing intermediaries by creating a new grievance redressal mechanism, asking them to respect "constitutional" rights and more. Why it matters? Since the release of the amendments, experts and stakeholders have criticised the Rules for potentially impinging on the free speech of users, imposing greater compliance burdens on intermediaries, and for being vague and illegal. The highly controversial IT Rules – challenged in nineteen separate cases -were first enacted in May 2021. Now, nearly a year later, the…
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