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New IT rules will prevent misuse and abuse of social media: Ravi Shankar Prasad | India News

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NEW DELHI: Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the government’s new IT rules are designed to prevent abuse and misuse of social media and will empower users by providing a robust forum for redress of grievances.
“The rules only empower ordinary social media users when they become victims of abuse and misuse,” Prasad tweeted.

The statement comes amid much controversy that the new rules will violate the “right to privacy” of users of social media and messaging apps.
The rules, which went into effect earlier this week, require that social media platforms with more than 50 million users must designate the chief compliance officer, resident grievance officer and a nodal contact person.
For the instant messaging application WhatsApp, the rules require breaking its ‘end-to-end encryption’, which does not allow messages exchanged between users to be seen even by company personnel.
WhatsApp has already moved to court over the new rules, claiming they are “illegal” and violate rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
Assuring WhatsApp users, Prasad said they have nothing to fear.
“Ordinary WhatsApp users have nothing to fear about the new Rules. Their whole goal is to find out who initiated the message that led to the commission of specific offenses mentioned in the Rules,” added Prasad.
He added that the government appreciates the criticism and the right to ask questions.
Facebook and Google have indicated to the government that they will appoint the officers required to comply with the new directives. Twitter has yet to clarify its position.
The company said on Thursday it was concerned for the safety of its personnel in India, days after Delhi Police personnel visited its offices in South Delhi and Gurugram to “notify” in connection with their investigation into the controversial case of the “toolbox”.
On Wednesday, the government had strongly defended its new digital rules, saying that a requirement that messaging platforms like WhatsApp reveal the origin of flagged messages does not violate privacy, and it sought a compliance report from large social media companies. .
(With PTI inputs)



Times of India

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