The Indian Government will soon put up the new Digital India Bill for consultation. The bill aims to bring in new and stricter laws to combat objectionable content in the digital domain.
Even as the new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill crawls toward becoming a law, the central administration is seeking public and stakeholders’ opinions on the Digital India Bill. Let’s see what the bill aims to achieve.
What Is The New Digital India Bill?
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), has announced plans for new legislation to strictly regulate the Internet. At the core of the bill are the dangers that Indians face online.
The Digital India Bill has been created with the aim of combating cybercrimes in the country, clarified the minister. Speaking about the bill, he said:
“There are 11 things that we don’t want on social media – child sexual abuse material, religious incitement material, patent violation material, misinformation, and things like that.”
The Digital India Bill has been developed to address multiple, wide-ranging online safety issues, such as combating child sexual abuse material, religious incitement material, patent violation material, and misinformation on social media platforms.
Specifically speaking, the new bill will grant more power and options to stop the spread of pornographic content, content harmful to children, copyright infringement, misleading content, impersonation, content deemed against India’s unity and integrity, computer malware, banned online games, and anything else that is currently illegal.
Incidentally, all of the abovementioned content is already listed in the last update of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. However, the Digital India Bill will grant the government legal powers to hold platforms accountable for hosting such content.
India Is The Largest Connected Country World And Indians Need Better Protection?
The proposed Digital India Bill is a part of the government’s initiatives to make the internet open, and safe, and to protect the digital citizen. “Today India is also the largest connected country in the world, and we want to make India the safest and most trusted country,” assured Mr. Chandrasekhar.
The MEITY chief stressed the need for the bill because of the IT Act of 2008, and specifically, the amendments made in the act. The minister stated the amendments to the IT Act in 2008 granted immunity to big tech and social media companies and allowed them to shrug off the responsibility of protecting internet users.
“It is the responsibility of the online platform to keep its platform safe and trusted for the digital citizens.” To enforce this, a provision will be included in the Digital India Bill, making it the responsibility of these platforms to uphold the safety and trust of their users,” stated Mr. Chandrasekhar.
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