The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on Wednesday asked the social media firms, including Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp, to share details of the compliance of the new IT guidelines as soon as possible.
Issuing a notice to all “Significant Social Media Intermediaries”, the government asked the companies to provide the scope of its services, details of Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person, Resident Grievance Officer and physical contact address in India.
In its note, the IT Ministry asked the platforms to give information on the status of compliance and stressed – “Please confirm and share your response ASAP and preferably today itself.”
Additional due diligence required from large social media cos has come into effect from today, the IT Ministry added.
WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter were given three months to comply with the new digital rules that require them to appoint a compliance officer in India, set up a grievance response mechanism and take down content within 36 hours of a legal order.
What the Centre wrote to social media firms on digital rules:
As you are aware that the Government of India has notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 on 25th February 2021 under the provisions of Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
(http://egazette.nic.in/WriteReadData/2021/225464.pdf). These Rules supersede the erstwhile notified Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011.
Government through a separate notification has also prescribed that a social media intermediary having fifty lakh (5 million) registered users in India will be considered a
Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI). The Part-II of the Rules broadly prescribe the due diligence to be followed by :
a. All intermediaries as defined in the IT Act, 2000.
b. Additional set of due diligence for SSMI and are being administered by this MeitY. The additional due diligence required from SSMI have come into effect today, at the conclusion of three additional months given to SSMIs.
2. The definitions of these services/ entities are covered in the IT Act/ Rules as stated above.
3. As you including your parent company or any other subsidiary, provide a variety of services in India some of which falls within the definition of SSMIs in the context of the IT Act and the aforesaid Rules. Accordingly, as part of ascertaining the compliance to these Rules, you are requested to provide the following information:
a) Name of App./ Website/ service falling within the scope of significant social media intermediary
b) The details of :
• Chief Compliance Officer and the contact details
• Nodal Contact Person and the contact details
• Resident Grievance Officer and the contact details.
• The physical contact address in India
c) Compliance status of these Rules.
5. If you are not considered as SSMI, please provide the reasons for the same including the registered users on each of the services provided by you.
6. The Government reserves the right to seek any additional information, as may be permitted within these Rules and the IT Act.
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