Social Media

Internet Giants Comply with India’s New IT Rules

Google, Facebook, Telegram, LinkedIn and Tiger Global-backed startups ShareChat and Koo have either fully or partially complied with India’s new IT rules. The confirmation comes from two people familiar with the matter and a government note obtained by TechCrunch.

Unveiled in February this year, India’s new IT rules require firms to appoint and share contact details of representatives tasked with compliance, the nodal point of reference, and grievance redressals to address on-ground concerns.

The aforementioned firms have complied with this requirement, the government note and a person familiar with the matter said. The firms were required to comply with the new IT rules by this week. Twitter has yet to comply with the rules.

A note prepared by New Delhi said, “Twitter sent a communication late last night, sharing details of a lawyer working in a law firm in India as their Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer,” adding that the rules require the aforementioned officials to be direct employees.

Tension has been brewing between Twitter and the government of India of late. This week, police in Delhi visited Twitter offices to “serve a notice” about an investigation into its intel on classifying Indian politicians’ tweets as misleading. Twitter called the move a form of intimidation, cited concerns about its employees, and requested the government to respect citizens’ rights to free speech.

India is a key overseas market for several technology giants, including Facebook and Google, both of which identify the nation as its biggest market by users. Neighboring nation Pakistan, which had proposed similar rules as India last year, had to withdraw them after tech giants united and threatened to leave the nation.

WhatsApp has complied with the aforementioned rules, but not with the requirement about traceability, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. WhatsApp sued the Indian government earlier this week over the requirement about bringing a way to trace the originator of messages. WhatsApp said it would have to compromise every users’ privacy to be able to comply with this rule.


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