Rajeev Chandrasekhar by News18

“Be it Musk or anybody, should comply with IT rules” – IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Information Technology  (IT), said on Saturday that the big tech companies will have to follow rules and regulations under Indian laws and also will be held accountable for their actions in India. Minister was taking part in a Twitter Space conversation when he made statements regarding big tech companies and their conduct in India.

About the takeover of Twitter by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the IT policies of the Indian government will not change with an ownership change in any specific tech company. “Be it Musk or anybody who would own Twitter, they will still have to comply with the framework that’s been set,” he said.

Minister of State for Information Technology (IT) under the Government of India had earlier enacted new IT Rules and legislation in the country aimed at bringing strict compliance and grievance redressal mechanism. The new IT rules and legalizations are aimed at making social media and big tech companies accountable for unlawful and misinformation content posted on their platform.

According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, big tech companies have been getting away with all their actions in the past, and it would not be allowed anymore. “Now they will be held accountable for everything they do,” he said.

The government on Friday made amendments to the IT rules, under which it will set up appellate panels to redress grievances that users may have against social media platforms’ decision on hosting contentious content.

IT ministry decided to make amendments to the grievance redressal mechanism as lakhs of complaints and reporting are lying unattended with the social media companies indicating the inefficiency of the grievance redressal mechanism.

The minister also said that all social media firms must publish the rules and regulations, privacy policy, and user agreement on their website, mobile-based application, or both, in all Indian languages and not just Hindi. This is also aimed to empower ‘Digital Nagriks.

When asked about the possibilities of introducing punitive actions against tech companies for noncompliance with IT rules and regulations, the minister said that the government has so far steered off from such actions keeping in mind the interest of the industry. He also added that the government has been receiving proposals from various quarters of society regarding implementing punishments for tech companies. Even though the government does not have any such plans at the moment, they will be introduced if the need arises.