Govt asks social media firms to respond ‘ASAP’ on status of compliance with new IT rules

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The Government of India on Wednesday asked social media companies to confirm and share their responses “ASAP and preferably today itself” on the status of their compliance with new IT rules that take effect from today, Wednesday, May 26.

In a note issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT, the Centre asked the Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI) to provide details of compliance with the new ‘Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.’

In a separate notification, the government had also prescribed that any social media intermediary having five million registered users in India will be considered a SSMI. The Government of India notified the new IT rules, 2021 on February 25, 2021 under the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

In the note dated May 26, MeitY asked SSMIs to “Please confirm and share your response (on the status of compliance with new IT rules) ASAP and preferably today itself.”

The additional due diligence require SSMIs to provide the names of the app/website/service falling within the scope of significant social media intermediaries, as well as the details and contact details of their Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, and Resident Grievance Officer, and also the SSNI’s physical contact address in India.

In the same note, the government said that if a platform is not to be considered as SSMI, they need to provide the reasons for the same, including the registered users on each of the services provided by them.

“The government reserves the right to seek any additional information, as may be permitted within these rules and the IT Act. Please confirm and share your response ASAP and preferably today itself,” MeitY said in its note dated May 26, 2021.

(This is a corrected version of an earlier story that contained an inadvertent error on the timeframe on when the new IT rules come into effect.)

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta and Tenzin Pema

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