Two of the world’s biggest Internet technology companies, Facebook-owned WhatsApp, and Twitter, are at loggerheads with the government over regulatory control, especially the new Information Technology Rules that came into effect last month.
The government wants major social media intermediaries to set up grievance redressal and compliance mechanisms, and make provisions for tracking the first originator of a message.
The government cites several reasons — from maintaining law and order to national security, and holding foreign entities accountable in India.
Facebook and Twitter have argued separately that the government’s demands amount to encroachment upon the fundamental rights of free speech and privacy, besides also defeating the purpose of end-to-end encryption.
The entire debate has also raised another important question: can ordinary citizens draw a line to keep both the state and Big Tech away from their personal space?
To listen to a discussion on these and related issues, register for the next session of Explained.Live, The Indian Express series of unique online explanatory conversations.
The Indian Express has invited lawyer and public policy researcher Smriti Parsheera, who set up and led the technology policy framework at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), New Delhi, and who is now a Fellow with the CyberBRICS Project hosted by Brazil’s Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) Law School, as an Expert Guest on the subject.
A limited number of audience questions will also be taken. Details of the discussion and registration are in the box alongside.