Twitter asks govt for one more week to comply with new IT guidelines

Move follows ‘one last notice’ to adhere from Meity, issued four days ago

Topics

Twitter | Information Technology Act


Neha Alawadhi  | 
New Delhi 

Four days after the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology gave Twitter “one last notice” to comply with the newly notified Information Technology Rules, 2021, Twitter said it was making every effort to comply with the new guidelines and will provide the details of its Chief Compliance Officer within a week.

“We understand the importance of these regulations and have endeavored in good faith to comply with the Guidelines, including with respect to hiring personnel in India,” the US-headquartered firm has said in its reply.

MeitY had said on May 28 that significant social media intermediaries, or those with over 50 lakh registered users, have shared the details as required under the new IT Rules, 2021, except Twitter, which is yet to send in details about its chief compliance officer.

The Ministry had written to all social media firms on May 25, the deadline for compliance with the new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

As per the rules, significant social media intermediaries have to notify details of their Indian-based Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Grievance Officer.

Last week, the government sent a notice to Twitter Inc, addressing its deputy general counsel Jim Baker, seeking immediate compliance with the new IT Rules and warned that failure to do so will lead to the platform losing its intermediary status under the IT Act. This means it can be held responsible for content hosted on its platform by its users.

In its latest letter to the Ministry, Twitter said it was “in advanced stages of finalizing the appointment to the role of Chief Compliance Officer and we plan to provide additional details to you in the next several days, and at the latest within a week”.

The microblogging platform has reiterated that it is making every effort to comply with the new guidelines and remains committed to serving the people of India by providing a platform to serve the public conversation, especially during critical moments and emergency situations such as those we’ve seen globally in recent months.

A spokesperson for the firm said, “Twitter has been and remains deeply committed to India, and serving the vital public conversation taking place on the service. We have assured the Government of India that Twitter is making every effort to comply with the new Guidelines, and an overview on our progress has been duly shared. We will continue our constructive dialogue with the Indian Government.”

In its letter to the government, it further noted: “The Guidelines were notified on 25th February, 2021, and the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult for us as a practical matter to make certain arrangements necessary to comply with the Guidelines within the stipulated time-frame.”

Twitter further said similar to other significant social media intermediaries operating in India, it has appointed a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Officer on a contractual basis while it recruits to fill the positions on a permanent basis.

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