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How Is Deepfake Regulation Linked To Platform Safe Harbour Provisions?

Amid the furore around deepfakes circulating online, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar have directed platforms to take down such content in accordance with section 3(1)(b) of IT Rules 2021, or risk losing their safe harbour protections.

In light of multiple instances wherein deepfakes of celebrities are being circulated online, India’s IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar have directed platforms to strictly comply with IT Rules to take down such content. 

All online platforms need to change their terms of service to explicitly mention Section 3(1)(b) of India’s IT Rules (2021) and inform users about their obligations when publishing content online, suggested Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Minister of State for the Electronics and IT Ministry (MeitY) during a meeting with representatives of various internet companies including Reliance Jio, Meta, Google, Telegram, Sharechat, Snap, Samsung and Apple.

Section 3(1)(b) of India’s IT Rules essentially requires intermediaries to inform their users not to host, and to make “reasonable efforts” to avoid hosting certain kinds of content, including that which is obscene, pornographic, paedophilic, invasive of another’s privacy, insulting, harassing, encouraging money laundering, etc., and importantly in the current context, does not impersonate another person.

While some participants pushed back against the modification of their terms and conditions saying that their terms and conditions already cover these aspects, Chandrasekhar insisted that this is insufficient. Chandrasekhar has also warned that failure to take down such content within the time stipulated under IT Rules will jeopardise the platform’s safe harbour protections.

How is deep fake regulation connected to safe harbour? Can platforms address the deepfake issue proactively and be 100 percent successful in it? In this video, MediaNama Founder-Editor Nikhil Pahwa offers his perspective on these questions.

Watch the video to know more:

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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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