In its ongoing standoff with Twitter at the Karnataka High Court, the Indian government once again argued that the microblogging platform is not entitled to free speech protections as it is a foreign body corporate, reported LiveLaw. Twitter isn't entitled to relief in the case, argued Additional Solicitor General R. Sankarnarayanan appearing for the government yesterday. Last July, Twitter challenged 39 orders to take down tweets and user accounts issued by the Indian government under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000(IT Act). The platform argued that the orders were "substantively and procedurally" non-compliant with the government's blocking powers under the IT Act, and harmed the free speech rights of its users. The government has followed Section 69A properly, added Sankarnarayanan yesterday. Responding to Twitter's accusation that users weren't notified of the account blocking as per Section 69A provisions, Sankaranarayanan argued that failing to notify the account holders wouldn't "vitiate" the Section 69A proceedings. The case will be heard next on April 10th. Government defends limitations of free speech: Sankarnarayanan also referred to the Supreme Court's 2020 ruling on indefinite Internet shutdowns in Kashmir. While the aim is that "you are entitled to do whatever you want on your platform", if some actions affect India's sovereignty or integrity, then the government will have to step in and issue a takedown notice or a blocking order, argued Sankarnarayanan. The Supreme Court had then held that indefinite Internet shutdowns are illegal under Indian law, and shutdown orders should be proportionate to their aims. However,…
“Foreign Body Corporate” Twitter Not Entitled to Free Speech Protections: Indian Govt At Karnataka HC
The govt also argued that as a significant social media intermediary, Twitter has to undertake additional due diligence to comply with the law
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