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Grievance Appellate Committee To Be in Place By November 30: Rajeev Chandrasekhar on IT Rules Amendment, 2022

R. Chandrasekhar, MoS at the IT Ministry (MeitY), says key details on the Grievance Appelate Committee (GAC) for social media to be out soon

"We will roll out the architecture, design and terms of reference of the GAC in the next 10-12 days and I will also assure you that nothing will be finalised or notified without consultation with both the consumers and the industry", said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information and Technology, according to a PTI report. ". He also said that the committee will be put in place by November 30 this year. What are Grievance Appellate Committees (GACs)? Under the recently notified IT rules amendment of 2022, the government announced the setting up of one or more GACs, members of which will be appointed by the government and will oversee an intermediary's (eg. Facebook) user-grievances, if the user is not satisfied with the intermediary's solutions. Why it matters?  Since the GAC was announced, several questions were raised regarding how the committee will be formed and what role it will play. There's still no clarity on how many GACs the government plans to form and if these GACs will be divided based on categories for handling complaints (like e-commerce, social media, streaming etc). The new IT rules amendment also calls for the formation of at least one GAC within three months of the amendment being notified. This framework is expected to provide answers to several questions like these. Moreover, the roles and structure of GAC hold great significance when seen from the lens of free speech. A government body with overarching powers and roles can give too much…

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