'Brings Fragmentation Of Internet Users': Internet Society, Mozilla Air Concerns Over New Indian Social Media Rules

Mozilla and US-based Internet Society said the new rules could damage end-to-end encryption, increase control, promote automated filtering and bring out fragmentation of the internet users that would harm them.

Delhi   |   4 March 2021 9:05 AM GMT
Writer : Yamini | Editor : Rakshitha R | Creatives : Abhishek M
Brings Fragmentation Of Internet Users: Internet Society, Mozilla Air Concerns Over New Indian Social Media Rules
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Days after the Indian government announced new regulations for social media platforms, Mozilla and US-based Internet Society have expressed concerns over new rules, saying they could damage end-to-end encryption, increase control, promote automated filtering and bring out fragmentation of the internet users that would harm them.

Last week, the government announced new regulations for social media platforms aimed at handling concerns like lack of grievance redresses, fake news and online safety of users amid rampant misuse of social media platforms.

The not-for-profit company (Mozilla) behind the popular web browser firefox have alerted that the new rules may have a series of unplanned issues on the health of the internet as a whole.

Mozilla in a blog post said, "While most of the onerous provisions only apply to 'significant social media intermediaries' (a new classification scheme), the ripple effects of these provisions will have a devastating impact on freedom of expression, privacy and security," reported The Telegraph.

It has also flagged "harsh" content takedown and data sharing timelines under the new regulations. And said provisions on traceability could break end-to-end encryption that would "weaken overall security and harm privacy."

The new rules differentiate between 'social media intermediaries' and 'significant social media intermediaries'. Significant social media intermediaries will have to follow additional due diligence, including the appointment of a chief compliance officer, nodal contact person and resident grievance officer and all three officials should reside in India.

Tensions are raised by the industry watchers that the new rules could uphold compliance costs for players and will make it challenging for smaller companies to face off bigger hulks like Facebook and Google.

An American non-profit organisation (The Internet Society), that aims to promote the open development, evolution, and use of the internet said any trial to weaken encryption could undermine the digital security of individuals.

"Indian government must protect the security and privacy of millions of people across India and maintain end-to-end encryption," said Noelle Francesca De Guzman, senior advisor (policy and external engagement) at the Internet Society.

She further added that "Over 500 million citizens use end-to-end encrypted messaging apps in India and they rely on strong encryption to keep their communications safe and private."

Also Read: Restrictions Only If Threat To Sovereignty Of India": Centre Releases Guidelines To Regulate OTT, Digital Media

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