Mumbai: The minister of state for electronics and information technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar has released a document clarifying the doubts and explaining the nuances of the due diligence to be followed by intermediaries as part of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (IT rules 2021).
The FAQs are limited to part II of these rules to be administered by MeitY.
“The government is committed to providing open, safe and trusted, and accountable internet to all users whose number is increasing both in urban and rural areas,” said Chandrasekhar.
The FAQ consists of four sections, namely – Section I: Basic Information; Section II: Basic Terminology and Scope of the Rules; Section III: Due Diligence by an Intermediary; Section IV: Additional Due Diligence by Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMI); Section V: Non-Compliance to Intermediary Rules.
Section I comprises of the basic information like- the objective of these rules; effective date; process followed in evolving these rules; major changes over the erstwhile Intermediary Guidelines Rules 2011; how these rules can be leveraged for enhancing the safety of women and children from potential harms; how these rules are also consistent with the requirement of safeguard against user’s privacy, freedom of speech and expression being fundamental rights; how a user can be benefitted, etc.
Section II comprises the basic terminology and scope of the rules like – which entities can qualify as ‘intermediary,’ which intermediaries qualify as a ‘social media intermediary,’ and ‘significant social media intermediaries’ (SSMI), etc.
Section III comprises the nuances of the due diligence to be followed by intermediaries like- information to be provided by the appropriate government, what and how much user information to be retained by an intermediary, prominently publishing of grievance officer details, adherence to various prescribed timeframes by an intermediary, etc.
Section IV comprises the nuances of the additional due diligence to be followed by SSMI like- modalities in appointing designated manpower resources based in India, details of monthly compliance reports and their level of granularity, etc.
Section V comprises the grounds of non-compliance to intermediary rules.