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Don’t beat around the bush, abide by the laws of the land: Center to Twitter | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Center on Thursday admonished Twitter for its statements about alleged police intimidation and the new digital rules and asked it to stop “beating around the bush” and comply with the “laws of the country.”
In a strongly worded letter, the TI ministry said that the power to make laws is the exclusive prerogative of the state and that Twitter has no locus standi on the matter.
“The formulation of laws and policies is the sole prerogative of the sovereign … Twitter is just a social media platform and has no place to dictate what the legal policy framework of India should be,” he said.
Previously, Twitter had raised concerns about the “use of intimidation tactics by the police” after it gave a manipulated media tag to the tweets of the ruling party spokesman BJP.
The microblogging platform said it is concerned about employees in India and the possible threat to freedom of expression.

On the new social media rules, Twitter said it will endeavor to comply with applicable law in India to keep its service available in the country.
He said he plans to advocate for changes to elements of TI’s rules “that inhibit free and open public conversation.”
However, he urged the government to give him three more months to comply with the new rules, which include appointing an Indian complaints officer to deal with complaints.
“At this time, we are concerned about recent developments involving our employees in India and the possible threat to the freedom of expression of the people we serve.
“We, along with many members of civil society in India and around the world, have concerns regarding the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to the enforcement of our Global Terms of Service, as well as with the core elements of the new IT Rules, ”said the information technology giant.
The government said it condemns the statement made by Twitter, calling it “unfounded, false and an attempt to smear India to hide its follies.”
“Freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India. The Government of India respects the right of people to ask questions and also to criticize on these social media platforms, including on Twitter.
“The Government also respects the right to privacy. However, the only instance of sinking freedom of expression on Twitter is Twitter itself and its opaque policies, as a result of which people’s accounts are suspended and tweets they are arbitrarily removed without recourse, “the ministry said in a statement.
However, the government also ensured that representatives of social media companies such as Twitter are and always will be safe in India, adding that there is no threat to their personal safety.
Separately, the Delhi Police also issued a strong statement against the platform, saying that the statements made by it are “liars” and “designed to seek sympathy.”

The Delhi Police Special Cell on Monday sent a notice to Twitter India in connection with the investigation into a complaint about the alleged ‘Covid toolkit’, asking it to share information based on which it had classified a related tweet from the Party. Bharatiya Janata (BJP). spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulated media”.
Two police teams also arrived at the offices of the Lado Sarai microblogging site in Delhi and at Gurugram on Monday night.
New rules
The new rules, announced on February 25, require large social media platforms, defined as those with more than 50 billion users in the country, to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of the chief compliance officer, the person Nodal Contact and Resident Complaint Officer.
Failure to comply with the rules would result in these platforms losing their status as intermediaries, which gives them immunity from liability for any third-party data hosted on them. In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.



Times of India

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