AIC has submitted comments on India’s Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines (Amendment) Rules 2018 to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India. Online communications, interactions, and transactions are an important part of our daily lives. Intermediaries such as search engines, social networks, and e-marketplaces offer users with various services from searching information online to sharing pictures and text to using voice and video calling services to connect with users worldwide. In times of digital growth, AIC believes that policies that encourage the expansion and development of Internet enabled communications and e-commerce must be adopted. In turn, this will ensure that the potential of Internet benefits individual rights, freedom of communication, and access to quality content, services, and applications.
While, we commend that the Government of India is reviewing the Intermediary Guidelines to align it with judicial precedents and global practices, there are certain key provisions of the Draft Rules that fail to address crucial issues such as safe harbour protection available to intermediaries, privacy rights, and right to free speech of users.