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Ashwini Vaishnaw on Draft Telecom Bill Regulating WhatsApp, Mandating KYC and Revealing Caller Identity

India’s Minister of Communications stressed on the importance of having simpler telecom laws and protecting consumers under the new bill

The draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 aims to create a “light-touch regulatory environment” that doesn’t hamper innovation or put excess regulatory burden, Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said when asked if platforms such as Facebook would require a license to operate. However, in the same breath, he added that strict regulations will also be put in place wherever needed. In his speech, the Union Minister also stressed on the importance of protecting consumers from telecom related frauds . He was speaking at a media interaction held in Delhi on 23rd September. Watch the full video here. Here are some important points on the recently released Draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 that Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw touched upon: KYC by platforms like WhatsApp and Zoom: The minister said that the KYC of caller is mandatory and it will help reduce cyber frauds. The user and the service provider, both should know who is calling. He also said that this will not be limited to just traditional telecom operators (like Airtel, Jio, Vi) but extend to ‘other’ platforms as well. “...the distinction between a voice call and data call has practically disappeared,” the Union Minister added. “Calls can be made through other platforms as well, those platforms should come under the same provision.” Reveal the identity of the caller: The telecom minister stressed on the the importance of revealing the identity of the caller to the person receiving the call. He went on to add that this should not just be limited…

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I cover privacy, surveillance and tech policy. In my reporting, I try my best to present the most relevant facts, and sometimes add in a pinch of my thoughts.

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