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Arrests over social media posts: Internet is not a place where laws don’t apply, says Chandrasekhar

Defending police action against individuals over social media posts, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday said it was a “misconception” that what is illegal in the real world is legal on virtual world and that “the internet is […]

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
June 29, 2022 4:37:36 am
Internet is not a place where laws don’t apply, says ChandrasekharRajeev Chandrasekhar interacts with startups at BBA faculty in Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Defending police action against individuals over social media posts, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Rajeev Chandrasekhar
on Tuesday said it was a “misconception” that what is illegal in the real world is legal on virtual world and that
“the internet is not a place where (criminal) laws don’t apply”.

Chandrasekhar, who is on a two-day visit to Gujarat, said that anyone who feels that a “chargesheet is wrong” can challenge the same in a court of law. He was speaking at a media interaction on the sidelines of the Startup Interaction: Fireside Chat and Open Interaction, jointly organised by the Department of Education of the Gujarat government and Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara.

In reply to a query on police action against individuals for their comments on social media, Chandrasekhar, without referring to any particular case, said, “To assume that what is illegal offline is legal online is a misconception… Our government’s view of the internet is the same as that of the offline world. The government believes that the internet should be open and accessible to all, it should be safe and trusted but also accountable. So if you violate a conventional law in cyberspace, you don’t have immunity…”

Stating that the amended IT (Intermediary) Rules aim to protect the rights of the citizens, Chandrasekhar said, “Our laws are very clear, there are no misgivings… We have equal rights and equal opportunities for all… and one clause in the IT Intermediary rules is that the constitutional rights of all Indians will be respected on all social media platforms.”

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Attributing a comment to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi that only 25 paise of a Re 1 grant from the Central government reaches the beneficiaries, Chandrasekhar said, “Technology has changed the idea that our democracy is dysfunctional — We had to accept that there is corruption in our system but through DBT, PM Modi has proven that there can be a system of direct transfer to beneficiaries with no leakage, no middleman.”

Adding that other countries of the world “look at India with awe”, Chandrasekhar said, “Gujarat start-ups have a lot of competence in some categories such as materials and chemicals, drones, renewable energy solutions, semiconductor and electronics…”

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First published on: 29-06-2022 at 04:37:36 am

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