What’s the news: A First Appellate Authority dismissed an appeal by digital rights organization SFLC.in seeking copies of the take-down orders sent to social media intermediaries for blocking the BBC documentary ‘India: The Modi Question’. The SFLC.in filed the appeal after sending an RTI to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on January 23, 2023, seeking the grounds for blocking the documentary on Modi’s leadership during the 2002 Godhra riots. On February 16, the Ministry said the take-down orders sent to YouTube and Twitter were issued under Rule 16 of the IT Rules. It also said the proceedings of the Inter Departmental Committee—that recommends take-down of content to the Ministry—are confidential. “Aggrieved by this, SFLC.in had filed an appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The appeal was on the grounds that the request for information sought in our original application remained unanswered… Particularly, our application had requested copies of the takedown orders and the grounds on which the orders were issued. These were not supplied, and no reason was provided for the same,” said the organisation in a Twitter thread. Appellate Authority deems Ministry's response appropriate Responding to SFLC’s appeal, the FAA said, “The First Appeal of the applicant has been examined and it is stated that the reply given by the CPIO is as per extant provisions of RTI Act, 2005.” The FAA reiterated the Ministry’s response, citing confidentiality under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 when it comes to the proceedings of the Inter Departmental Committee.…
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