Twitter shares details of interim compliance officer with government

Twitter shares details of interim compliance officer with government

The move came after Union minister Shankar Prasad hit out at the corporate for “deliberately” choosing to not suits the rules while officials said Twitter will lose its legal protection from penal action for third party content over the non-compliance.

Twitter on Wednesday shared with the govt details of the interim compliance officer it's appointed as per the new social media guidelines that came into effect on May 26, people conversant in the matter said.

Twitter are going to be considered an intermediary once it follows the new Information Technology (IT) rules. The official said Twitter will not be shielded from penal action under Section 79 of the IT Act, which absolves social media firms of liability for third-party content, if it didn't do so.

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules were notified in February. They require significant social media intermediaries, which have five million users or above, to appoint a chief compliance officer, nodal officer and grievance redressal officer. Until Wednesday, Twitter was the sole major social media firm that had not shared the small print of the compliance. WhatsApp, Facebook and Google shared the small print in May.

Twitter on Tuesday said it's appointed the interim chief compliance officer and therefore the details of the appointment are going to be shared directly with the ministry. the choice came after the govt gave Twitter one last chance to suits the new rules because the microblogging platform didn't make immediate appointments of key personnel, mandated under the new guidelines.

Twitter assured the govt last week that it's within the advanced stages of finalising the appointment of the chief compliance officer and would submit additional details within every week .

Twitter this month conveyed to the govt that it had been “committed to complying with the new rules”, whilst it raised concerns regarding the security of its employees within the country and intimidation by the police. It sought every week to suits the new guidelines after the govt issued it an ultimatum saying Twitter would need to face “unintended consequences” including losing its legal protection from criminal liability for user content.

The guidelines also require companies like Twitter, WhatsApp, and Facebook to vary how they regulate content and adopt features like traceability of messages and voluntary user verification.

Twitter and therefore the refore the government have had disagreements over content takedown orders and the company’s actions against prominent people linked to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for violation of its terms of use.

Against this backdrop, the new IT rules hardened the stand-off last month, with Twitter earlier posing for three months to comply, raising concerns over the “core elements” of the norms, and flagging potential threats to the security of its employees after a visit by the Delhi Police.

The new rules are contested by several parties, including WhatsApp which has argued that the traceability provision mandated within the guidelines would violate end-to-end encryption.

Raman Chima, Asia Pacific policy director, Access Now, a digital civil rights organisation, said the govt doesn't have the only authority to device how intermediaries are ready to make use of the legal protection granted to them by Parliament. “Whether the government’s rules are constitutional and whether partial or incomplete compliance impacts this legal immunity provided in law will ultimately be decided by judges, and not just by the chief branch.”


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