speech, free speech, MeitY, Draft IL Rules, IL Rules, social media, content filtering, encryption, expression, foe

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India ("MeitY"), released the Draft Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules, 2018 on the 24th of December, 2018 ("the Draft Rules"). The Draft Rules seek to amend the existing Intermediaries Guidelines, which enlist certain conditions for online intermediaries to follow in order to qualify for the safe-harbour protection offered to them under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000. MeitY had requested relevant stakeholders to provide their comments/ suggestions by the 31st of January, 2019 on the Draft Rules.

We have submitted a joint letter to Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY, highlighting key provisions of the Draft Rules which impact basic human rights such as free speech and privacy. The joint letter has been signed by various civil society organizations, free software associations, public spirited academicians and professionals.

We have also submitted our detailed comments to the Ministry stating our concerns with the Draft Rules. Our detailed comments will be available on this website soon.

We endeavour to regularly consult with concerned government departments on proposals which adversely affect citizen's digital rights.

We thank all the signatories for extending their support and standing for digital rights.

A copy of the joint letter is as follows: