GOI brings new rules for social media, OTT services and digital news outlets

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The government of India on Thursday announced the move to regulate social media, Over the Top (OTT) content, and digital news outlets.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued new guidelines.

New Delhi finalised new rules for digital content, social media companies and OTT platforms. Some of the new changes include strict oversight mechanism involving several ministries.

Further, these platforms will be banned from telecasting content that affects “the sovereignty and integrity of India” and that which threatens national security.

Most significantly the rules for social media companies to give the originator of a message or tweet

For players like WhatsApp, which are end-to-end encrypted, this could mean they will be forced to break encryption in India in order to comply, Indian Express reported.

The rules also made a distinction between a significant social media intermediary and a regular social media intermediary. The government is yet to define the user size to determine who will constitute as a significant social media intermediary.

The government says it is empowering the users of social media and other intermediaries. It wants companies to have a chief compliance officer for significant social media companies as well. The rules call for social media companies to publish a monthly compliance report as well.

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