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Sanctity of poll -Sam Rajappa

-The Statesman Assembly elections in the States of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry to be held between 27 March and 29 April come at a time the prestigious US-based Freedom House report has lowered India’s rank from a “free” to a “partially free” country and Sweden’s V-Dem Institute which once described India as the world’s largest democracy as an “electoral autocracy.” The government can either...

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Parliament proceedings: Government welcomes dissent on social media, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

-The Hindu ‘Issue is not of use of social media, it is of abuse and misuse of social media’. Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday that climate activist Disha Ravi’s arrest was based on law and order and it is under judicial process. He added that the House should consider “should some people abuse social media internationally to defame India to promote secessionism.” Replying to a question...

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Provision for blocking content under new IT rules not new: Centre

-The Hindu It has been exercised for the past 11 years, clarifies I&B Ministry The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Saturday clarified that no “new provision” had been added to the existing law, after uproar over a provision of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, under which the Secretary of the Ministry can block public access to any information in case of emergency. “Certain misgivings...

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Centre’s IT Rules bring answerability in digital ecosystem. But they also increase political control -Apar Gupta

-The Indian Express Apar Gupta writes: The substance of many of the requirements were never put to public consultation or deliberation by experts. This is particularly the case for the regulations for online news portals and video streaming platforms. In the polarised environment that we now inhabit, there are few public agreements. One of these rare instances is an agreement that social media is broken. For many commentators, this is an area...

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Privacy vs curbs: Rules reflect global trend but sweeping blacklist puts law and order at centre -Pranav Mukul and Aashish Aryan

-The Indian Express These rules come even as a Joint Parliamentary Committee is in the final stages of discussion of a privacy Bill that covers aspects such as the role of social media intermediaries and the reach of Big Tech companies, and the privacy accorded to the users on such platforms. The notification of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the Government’s first move to regulate...

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