The Indian government has proposed new rules aimed at stopping the spread of false news and the country’s misinformation on social media, and domestic groups of civilian freedoms are not happy. Late last month, the Internet Freedom Foundation said a statement saying the new rules would act as “sledgehammer for free speech on the Internet.“
The proposed rules will change section 79 of India’s IT Act, the country’s Basic Law on online trade and cyber crime. This Act acts in a similar manner as an act of civility in the US, and a specific part that would change to read as Section 230. If amendments are approved, platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will be required to centify the content the Indian government considers inappropriate, potentially affecting how much content is served outside the Indian borders. Further, changes to the law require the companies to produce user messages if the government asks for this information, which would cause serious legal problems to end encrypted services at the end like that.
Platforms should also remind their users of their privacy policies monthly.
If new rules are approved, the platforms will have to introduce new tools to the automatic flag content that the Indian government has already considered illegal. According to information, it would include “a hate speech against certain protected groups, slander, child abuse and rape descriptions.”
Child abuse and descriptions of rapes appear to be common sense, but
according to BuzzFeed News, some advocate fear that these new requirements might stifie freedom of speech and help facilitate a mass surveillance.
An addition to the decryption clause, such as the one included in the Indian government’s amendments, advocates that the rule can be used for equal communication from citizens. According to Bloomberg, the clause on traceability would break tend-to-end encryption and require a platform for preserving information in 180 days in case of a proposed investigation.
Facebook director Mark Zuckerberg has long said that his team is building better artificial intelligence systems in hopes of automatically unlecting the content that violates the rules of the platform before it is ever posted. Nevertheless, the content that violates these rules has its way onto users’ news feeds every day. Last month, Tumbler was conducting his own and tools to remove pornography, but failed to force some items appropriately. The Non-erotic pieces of artwork are flagged and some porn are still makes its way onto the site.