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Video: Impact of Telecom Bill on WhatsApp, Signal and other internet-based communication services

In this video, we highlight three concerns with the bill: the broad definition of telecom services, verification requirements for companies, and the government’s ‘overreaching’ powers.

In May 2023, Minister of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology said that the Indian Telecommunication Bill will take its final form in July 2023. The draft Telecom Bill, which was released for public feedback in September 2022, primarily raised concerns for messaging and other communication apps given the provisions of the bill that indicate regulation of OTT communication services like the traditional telecom services.

The definition of telecommunication services in the draft bill, which includes satellite-based, internet-based as well as OTT communication services, has irked many internet rights groups and experts. In their comments to the draft bill, organisations like Internet Freedom Foundation and Internet Society have called for the exclusion of internet-based services from the ambit of the telecommunication services and for greater checks and balances in the Indian government’s power to issue and revoke licenses.

“The [Telecom] Bill threatens the open, globally connected, secure and trustworthy Internet (in) several ways. It places unnecessary barriers and burdens on businesses and users alike, and harms user privacy.”, argued members of the non-profit organisation Internet Society in their report on the telecom bill.

In this video, we highlight three such concerns: the broad definition of telecom services, verification requirements for companies, and the government’s ‘overreaching’ powers.

Watch the video here:

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Written By

Curious about the intersection of technology with education, caste and welfare rights. For story tips, please feel free to reach out at sarasvati@medianama.com

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