Regulators

MIB social media monitoring cell tender deadline extended

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

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

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/14/trai.jpg?itok=xNXxtKnA
TRAI directs broadcasters, DPOs to publish updated NTO 2.0 prices

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has asked broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPOs) to take necessary steps to ensure a smooth rollout of the amended new tariff order from 1 March.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/12/bhx.jpg?itok=N4iYeM7k
NTO 2.0: Bombay High Court adjourns case to 26 Feb

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has adjourned the ongoing case between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and broadcasters on the new tariff order (NTO) to 26 February. During the last hearing , no interim relief had been granted. Last time, the advocate for TRAI made a statement at the...

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/08/pra.jpg?itok=-sCCFJ19
No plan to levy 10% licence fee on b’casters, cable ops: I&B Min

MUMBAI: The Minister Of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar has made it clear in a parliamentary response that the ministry does not intend to add any sort of 10 per cent licence fee on broadcasters and cable operators in India. His response came for a question that asked if the minister...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/04/mib.jpg?itok=xo6CjjVh
Budget 2020: I&B Ministry allocation raised by over Rs 310 crore this fiscal

MUMBAI: Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her second budget announced Rs 4375.21 crore for the Ministry Of Information And Broadcasting (MIB) for the financial year 2020-21, Press Trust of India report said. The revised budget estimate for the last fiscal was Rs 4064.76 crore. The...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/02/01/MIB_800.jpg?itok=d9Ye3tYc
I&B Ministry grants registration to 15 MSOs in Jan 2020

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has published a document listing all the registered multi system operators (MSO) in the country. As per the document, there are 1630 registered MSOs in India as on 31 January 2020. Fifteen MSOs were granted registration in the month of...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/31/tv.jpg?itok=m4a03QhI
Gujarat High Court accepts plea against TRAI NTO 2.0 amendments

The empire strikes back even as TRAI has been rubbishing news that NTO 2.0  is detrimental to the industry and will put the brakes on it. Despite repeated representations from different bodies, TRAI is sticking to its guns on imposing pricing regulations. Now the industry is fighting back.

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/30/bombayhighcourt.jpg?itok=nTDMSBc7
NTO 2.0 case: No interim relief granted, to be heard on 12 Feb

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has listed the next hearing of the ongoing case between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and broadcasters on the new tariff order (NTO) on 12 February. No interim relief has been granted yet which can be argued at the next hearing. It has also been...

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/29/election.jpg?itok=ij1wLUiI
Govt places embargo on publishing exit poll of Delhi Assembly election

MUMBAI: Amid the battle for power in the national capital, the Election Commission of India has banned all print or electronic media from showing exit poll of Delhi Assembly election between 8 am to 6.30 pm on 8 February 2020.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/01/29/mib.jpg?itok=rEK2cvJr
I&B Ministry asks TV channels to follow Supreme Court orders in condemning lynching, mob violence

MUMBAI: The country has seen an alarming increase in the incidences of lynching in the last few years. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has once again sent out an advisory to TV channels to comply with the Supreme Court’s directions to electronic media to condemn lynching and mob...

Regulators I&B Ministry

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories