Active GD- Amendments to the IT Rules will muzzle the social media users. Yes/ No?- Winners!It is observed that despite our interruptions to widen the scope of the discussion and to bring in diverse views, the participants chose to generally stick to the aspect of freedom of expression only. It was surprising to note that we did not have anyone, except Bhushan, with a single response, opposing or for that matter, even criticizing any of the amended rules. Hope the choice was not due to the influence of the amendments to the rules.
Coming to the topic, it may be generally agreed upon that the amendments have been brought in with a view to making the social media intermediaries accountable for the content they publish and also to make them responsible for assisting the authorities in tracing the origin of messages that are against the law and it does not in any way indicate any direct interference into the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the Constitution. But the clause that provides that the intermediary will not host or store any message that "threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order, or causes incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is insulting any other nation" on receiving an order to the effect from the government or its appropriate agencies is an area which calls for some dissection and proper interpretation due to the liability it may bring upon the users because of the possibility of 'interpretation of convenience'.
We don't intend to get into the details at this juncture but, notwithstanding the mention of the same by Venkiteswaran, we do feel that the participants/non-participants could have put in some effort to cover this area too in detail so as to make the discussion more interesting and fruitful. On that note, we are now announcing the Best Participants of the recently concluded Active GD on the topic The new amendments to the IT Rules will muzzle the social media –Yes or No?
Having gone through all the views submitted and the arguments put forth in favour of the amendments, we have selected the following members as the Best Participants-
2. Umesh and
3. Dr Deepali Gangwar
The winners will receive a cash reward of Rs 150/- each and the consolation prize winners will receive Rs 50/- each. Cash rewards and additional points would be added to the best responses from the other participants too based on their overall performance.
Friends, please join me to congratulate the winners and also put in a word of appreciation to all the participants.