Twitter India has purportedly failed to comply with content take-down notices issued on June 6 and 9, and the Centre has warned the company that it could lose its immunity as an intermediary, which will expose Twitter to "punishment to offences as prescribed in the IT Act 2000".
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued an ultimatum to Twitter India — comply with the country's Information Technology Rules by July 4 or face punitive action, as per media reports.
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Twitter and the Indian government share an uneasy relationship as the micro-blogging giant has had multiple run-ins with the government over content takedown.
According to reports, Twitter India has purportedly failed to comply with content take-down notices issued on June 6 and 9, and the Centre has warned the company that it could lose its immunity as an intermediary, which will expose Twitter to "punishment to offences as prescribed in the IT Act 2000". It is not immediately clear which content the June 6 and 9 notices referred to.
Media reports suggest that the latest notice follows Twitter's “repeated failures to act on the content take-down notices sent under Section 69 A of the IT Act" and other instances of non-compliance.
CNBC-TV18 has reached out to Twitter India for comment, and a response is awaited till the time of this writing. The government too is tightlipped for the moment.
Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, allows the Centre to block public access to an intermediary “in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offence relating to above”.
This is not the first time Twitter has had to sail in choppy waters in India. In July 2021, the Delhi High Court rapped the company, which had admitted that it was not in compliance with the IT rules and had yet to appointed a Grievance Officer, Compliance Officer, and Nodal Officer, as required by the government.
Last week, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, while saying the government is open to changing the IT Rules as India's digital ecosystem develops, but warned social media intermediaries that they cannot cite cost as a prohibitive factor in complying with the law of the land.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)
First Published: IST