Govt of India extends deadline for complying with social media intermediaries rules

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The government has extended the deadline for the implementation of IT Intermediary Guidelines for social media platforms in the country by another three months as the rules were supposed to be effective from May 26.

This comes after significant social media intermediaries such as Facebook and Twitter did not comply with India’s new IT rules, the deadline for which expires on May 26, which these platforms seem to have surpassed.

These rules require social media platforms to provide the names of the app/website/service falling within the scope of significant social media intermediaries, as well as the contact details and physical addresses of the Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, and Resident Grievance Officer.

The intermediaries also need to give the compliance status of these rules. In a letter, which YourStory has a copy of, the company also said that if a platform is not 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,” the letter issues on May 26 read.

In a letter to all the social intermediaries, which the government through a separate notification has prescribed, that any social media intermediary having fifty lakh or five million registered users in India will be considered a Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI). The Government of India notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 on February 25, 2021 under the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.

In an earlier development, WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in Delhi High Court, challenging the government’s new digital rules saying the requirement for the company to provide access to encrypted messages will break privacy protections.

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