Regulators

MIB social media monitoring cell tender deadline extended

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2018/06/04/MIB-social_media.jpg?itok=VQUCWYNv

NEW DELHI: The Big Brother has arrived? Well the Indian government, being accused of proposing to unleash a surveillance of citizens, has gone in for another extension of the deadline seeking vendors for technical and logistics help to set up such a center.

The new date for submitting proposals for Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB)’s Social Media Communications Hub is now 18 June 2018, which is the third revision of the deadline since tender was floated earlier this year inviting proposals, enumerating wide-ranging deliverables.

Under criticism from a section of the civil society and online journalists and activists for this proposed over Rs. 400 million surveillance project, both MIB and BECIL (a unit under the ministry) have maintained a stoic silence.

The project, first reported by Indiantelevision.com in January 2018 and being undertaken under a seemingly harmless name of Social Media Communications Hub, however, has aims to monitor in real times not only the social media and online activities of Indian citizens, but also seeks to deploy technology to predict behavior and possible future actions of people. This, at a time when India doesn’t have strong data protection laws.

Amongst the many listed objectives of the media hub is this: “What would be the headlines and breaking news of various channels and newspapers across the globe--- could be done with knowledge about their leanings, business deals, investors, their country policies, sentiment of their population, past trends etc. NYT, Economist, Time etc. are good examples, what would be the global public perception due to such headlines and breaking news, how could the public perception be moulded in positive manner for the country, how could nationalistic feelings be inculcated in the masses, how can the perception management of India be improved at the world for a how could the media blitzkrieg of India’s adversaries be predicted and replied/neutralized, how could the social media and internet news/discussions be given a positive slant for India.”

One of the many critics of this project is the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), which has sent a notice to the MIB to stop the project, failing which the organization would take legal action. Its concerns? “Social Media Communication Hub will also have the ability to broadcast content without any legal authority or guidance through 20 central and 716 district level social media executives. In sum, this is a system of control through surveillance and a capacity to spread propaganda,” the Foundation said in an online campaign.

The Foundation’s letter to MIB minister Rajyavardhan Rathore, sent last week, criticizes the government move on the ground that“the wider project to surveil social media is illegal and unconstitutional, being contrary to the right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression”.

Urging the ministry to withdraw the requests for proposal invited by BECIL, the IFF said, “The RFP document clearly indicates that the proposed Social Media Communication Hub seeks to create a technology architecture that merges mass surveillance with a capacity for disinformation. It is a perilous expense on the exchequer, given that an exorbitant amount of [Rs] 42.4833 crores (approximately Rs. 42 million) is being earmarked for a project that will undermine our fundamental rights.”

Meanwhile, MIB is also seized of the fate of a committee set up by former minister Smriti Irani to propose regulations for online media. Though Rathore in recent times has spoken of self-regulation of media, in general, he hasn’t yet articulated the government view on the committee, which critics say was beyond the remit of the MIB.

Indiantelevision.com learns from government sources that the online regulation committee has already held few informal meetings, though non-governmental organisations, seeking to be part of it, were not invited.

While some media industry organisations were named by the government to be part of this online regulation committee, many others like the internet and mobile association of India, Broadband Forum India and Asian media body CASBAA have, reportedly, sent in formal requests to be made part of this government committee, which, interestingly, doesn’t include a single online venture or body.

Also Read :

 MIB to collect data on satellite capacity needs, digital chatter

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/19/MIB_2.jpg?itok=tMcbbWzx
MIB gives licences to 5 new channels

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) gave licenses to five new channels up until 31 December 2018. The channels are P Plus, PTunes, Living Travelz, Star Movies Kids and Star Movies Kids HD.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/trai_0.jpg?itok=XY9Xv2aC
TRAI asks Tata Sky to submit status report on tariff order implementation

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked direct-to-home operator Tata Sky to file a comprehensive status report on the implementation of its new tariff regime.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/17/trai.jpg?itok=5F_RPi2d
Broadcasters to TRAI: No further regulation of OTT communication services

Major broadcasters including Star India, Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN), Times Network are clear they do not favour any further regulatory intervention on over-the-top (OTT) communication services. All three players have clearly depicted their view that OTTs should not be seen as a substitute...

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/16/mib.jpg?itok=mtjpTiXE
MIB may nod in favour of self-regulation code for online video streamers

An upswing in online streaming platforms in India has drawn attention of authority as well as stakeholders on regulation.

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/trai.jpg?itok=vFuNrC4V
Tata Sky vs. TRAI: Case, argued partly by DTH operator, adjourned to 23 January

DTH operator Tata Sky’s ongoing court battle with the TRAI and its new tariff regime, in which Bharti Telemedia-owned Airtel Digital TV and Sun Direct are a part, has been adjourned by the Delhi High Court to January 23 with arguments being inconclusive.

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/tele.jpg?itok=Ip-d1akD
MIB restricts eligibility for temporary uplinking for non-news events

In a fresh notice, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has laid out a new norm for temporary uplinking applications for live coverage of non-news and current affairs TV channels. Now, only those channels and teleport operators that are already permitted by the MIB will be eligible to...

Regulators I&B Ministry
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/15/prasar.jpg?itok=ImQO_1QL
Prasar Bharati to TRAI: OTTs streaming live TV should mandatorily carry all Doordarshan channels

Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has suggested to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that certain norms be made mandatory for OTT providers, in order to bring them on a level playing field with TV broadcasters and not just limit their comparison to telecom service providers (TSPs).

Regulators TRAI
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/12/traih.jpg?itok=c_pcaj_E
SC upholds licence cancellation of Digi Cable Network, SCOD 18 Networking

Cancellation of licences granted to two MSOs Digi Cable Network and SCOD 18 Networking has been upheld by the Supreme Court on security ground. Before moving to apex court the petitioners had approached the Bombay High Court where their pleas challenging the cancellation order by Ministry of...

Regulators Supreme Court
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/01/12/ZEEH_1.jpg?itok=XVHMEazi
Delhi HC orders Zee Hindustan to stop using Rajat Sharma's name in ads

Delhi HC has restrained Zee Hindustan from using the name of India TV editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma in any of its advertisements, stating that its latest ad campaign is prima facie illegal. It has directed the channel to remove any hoardings or ads that use Rajat’s name.

Regulators High Court

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories