India: Government establishes new rules for digital media and internet intermediaries
The Government of India notified, on 25 February 2021, in the Gazette the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 pursuant to the Information Technology Act, 2000, which was prepared by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. In particular, the rules aim to empower users of digital platforms to pursue redress for their grievances and command accountability in case of infringement of their rights. To this end, the rules seek to regulate online intermediaries, including social media platforms, as well as over-the-top ('OTT') media services and digital news companies.
More specifically, the rules prescribe guidelines for social media entities and establish due diligence obligations to ensure that information published on their platforms observes, among other things, individual rights and national interests. Furthermore, the rules include additional obligations for 'significant' intermediaries, such as the requirement to appoint a compliance officer and to enable the identification of the originator of information for law enforcement purposes.
Finally, the rules also establish a code of ethics to govern digital media and OTT platforms based on a self-regulatory approach.