The Information and Broadcasting Ministry gave a clarification on Saturday about the facility of the new digital media guidelines of blocking the content over the Internet during emergency has been around as a part of the regulation from 2009 and is not a current incorporation.
The misgivings by the Union Government were being addressed with respect to Rule 16 under Part III of the guidelines which iterate about any emergency conditions, where the interim blocking directions will be passed by the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, according to the ministry statement.
The statement said, “It is hereby clarified that this is not a new provision. For the past eleven years, since 2009, this provision has been exercised by the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and IT under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.”
As per the rules directed on February 25, the provision has been subjected to replacement with Secretary, Ministry of I&B as Part III representing Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 would be implemented by the I&B Ministry, as per the statement.
The I&B Ministry said, “It is reiterated — no change in provision has been made nor any new provision has been added on blocking of content under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.”
On Thursday, the government had emphasized on “code of ethics” and a three-tier mechanism for resolving the grievances which would be applicable for news publishers, Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms along with digital media.
Earlier this week, The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 were declared at a joint press conference by I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
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