SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 1 August 2021, Sunday |

Twitter Loses Legal Protection After Non-compliance With New Law, Says Indian Gov’t

In June, Twitter lost its legal protection in India because of non-compliance with new rules. However, the social media platform later appointed an interim resident grievance officer and an interim nodal contact person. But both of them resigned from their positions.

India’s federal government on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that the social media platform Twitter has lost its intermediary status after failing to comply with the country’s new information technology (IT) law.

The Indian government, in an affidavit, said that any non-compliance amounts to a breach of the provisions of the IT Rules, leading to Twitter losing its immunity conferred under the IT Act.

The intermediary status provides immunity from liabilities over third-party data hosted on the platform, with the loss making Twitter open to legal action in case of complaints.

The new law was rolled out in February this year and mandates the appointment of India-based compliance executives for all social networking sites. The court heard a case filed by a Twitter user alleging that his complaint had not been acted upon by the social media platform.

The Indian government’s statement comes amid an ongoing power tussle with the micro-blogging platform over an array of issues.

The government, in an affidavit, added, “In spite of the three months’ time granted to all Significant Social Media Intermediary (SSMI) to comply with the IT Rules 2021 having expired on May 26, Twitter has failed to fully comply with the same”.

On 3 July, Twitter filed an affidavit stating that the company was in the “final stages” of appointing a new interim chief compliance officer and an interim resident grievance officer.

Meanwhile, other social media intermediaries such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Telegram agreed to comply with the new law.