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Google CEO- Sundar Pichai’s Views On India’s New Digital Rules

The Chief Executive Officer at Google- Sundar Pichai, had to again explain the company’s plan to comply with the new intermediary rules set by the Government of India recently. According to a report by a trusted media agency, Sundar Oichai said that the local teams of the company are conducting discussions and talks with the Indian Government. However, it will comply with the new laws. He also said that the company’s publishing of the transparency reports will keep on being continued. These reports include data of the legal requests that the government makes to the country.

The new intermediary rules were announced by the Indian Government on February 25. 2021. After the announcement, the government gave all social media platforms and OTT platforms along with all the IT giants a time period of three months, to accept the rules and comply with them. The rule announced, required the IT companies to appoint India based grievance officers in key role who could give a response to legal information requests within a time period of just 36 hours, and trace texts, posts or tweets back to the first originator of the country within the country.

In a virtual press release conference with the reporters in Asia Pacific, Sundar Pichai said- “It’s obviously early days and our local teams are very engaged… we always respect local laws in every country we operate in and we work constructively. We have clear transparency reports, when we comply with government requests, we highlight that in our transparency reports.”

Pichai also added that India has a long tradition of keeping free and open internet as it is ‘foundational’.

“As a company, we are very clear about the values of a free and open internet and the benefits it brings and we advocate for it, and we engage constructively with regulators around the world, and we participate in these processes, I think it’s a part of how we learn…” said Pichai, in his statement in the press release.

He further added that Google has always respected and still respects the legislative processes and in cases where it needs to push back a little, it always does so. Supporting this, he said- “It’s a balance we have struck around the world”

Sundar Pichai also made a note that the technology is touching the society in way deeper and broader ways, and the landscape too, is evolving at a much faster pace.

“So, we fully expect governments rightfully to both scrutinize and adopt regulatory frameworks. Be it Europe with copyright directive or India with information regulation etc, we see it as a natural part of societies figuring out how to govern and adapt themselves in this technology-intensive world,” said Pichai in his closing statement, with an additional statement that the company always engages constructively with regulators around the world in matters like this and participates in the process.

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