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Social media access can be blocked under specific conditions

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NEW DELHI: The Government has said that Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 provides for blocking access to information under specific conditions.

Answering a question about censoring new platforms for publication and broadcasting of media content like social networks and online video services, the minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told the Parliament that the Act has provisions for removal of objectionable online content.

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) rules 2011 require that the Intermediaries shall observe due diligence while discharging their duties and shall inform the users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is harmful, objectionable, affects minors and is unlawful in any way.

With regard to the use of social media by the Government, he said social media platforms are used to disseminate/ publicise information pertaining to Government policies and programmes.

The government has set up myGov as a social media platform for enabling greater people participation in matters relating to public policy.

Meanwhile, the ministry has categorically said it is not contemplating any regulatory framework for censorship of content appearing on the internet.

As far as OTT was concerned, sources in the ministry told indiantelevision.com that this was still a new subject, and the government would take action in the event of any complaints from viewers and subscribers.

At present, the government does not certify any programmes coming on television, but the sources reiterated that programming has to be in accordance with the guidelines of the Programme and Advertising Code apart from the Uplink and Downlink Guidelines.

The information and broadcasting ministry, sources said, has no control over films appearing online as this falls in the ambit of the IT Act which is administered by IT Ministry.

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