India proposes to replace its two-decade-old IT law

India is proposing to replace its more than two-decade-old IT law as the world’s second-largest internet market pushes for new policies to seek broader accountability from tech companies, re-evaluating who gets all Safe Harbor protections, new technologies better to oversee and serve. every” connected user in the South Asian market.

There are few details on exactly how the proposed framework, dubbed the Digital India Act, will oversee various factions of the internet, but a key minister said on Thursday the law will aim to replace the 2000 IT Act, which was created two decades ago and maintains limited mandates for legal recognition of the modern internet in the face of challenges in the form of user harm, ambiguity in user rights, dissemination of hate speech and misinformation, and unfair trade practices.

Indian laws should be able to cope with the complexity and rapid expansion of types of intermediaries, evolving and coping with market trends, technological upheavals, developments in international jurisprudence and global standards for quality frameworks for the provision of services/products, Ministry of State and to be consistent with IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told a gathering in Bengaluru. The minister said he hopes to finalize the bill by the end of this month.

“There will be no one on the internet excluded from the scope of the Digital India Act,” he said.

“In order to create, modify and enforce regulations rapidly, it will adopt a ‘principles and rules-based’ approach to regulation, providing a legal framework according to government principles and effective measures to ensure compliance with the ever-evolving rule of law,” he said .

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The proposed framework aims to partially address what the minister saw as an urgent need for a specialized and dedicated judicial mechanism for online and criminal offenses.

Chandrasekhar compared his proposal to similar moves by regulators in other markets. Both digitally savvy and inexperienced individuals are online today, so there is an urgent need to ensure online safety, he said.

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The draft law proposes to introduce an online and crime judicial mechanism that would provide citizens with timely remedies, resolve cyber disputes, develop a unified cyber jurisprudence, and enforce the rule of law online. Protect innovations to enable new technologies such as AI/ML, Web3, Autonomous Systems/Robotics, IoT/Distributed Ledger/Blockchain, Quantum Computing, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, Real-time Language Translator and Natural Language Processing, he added.

In response to a question from the audience, Chandrasekhar replied that Digital India Act will not deal with moderation of content on platforms.

The minister also said the new law could re-examine the accountability of complaint offers assigned by online platforms to resolve user issues. He contended that separate rules were needed for each class of intermediaries and whether those intermediaries should be provided with the Safe Harbor.

On the government’s handling of cybersecurity issues, Chandrasekhar said cybersecurity is part of the Digital India Act. In addition, he mentioned that the recently introduced Personal Data Protection Act, which has yet to be passed by Parliament, will have priority in cases of personal data breaches, but the new proposed law will be more “overarching” and deal with users Damage.

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While the new law will be a successor to the existing IT law, the jurisprudence of the original law remains intact. He also noted that the law would aim to address issues affecting the country’s children and young internet users. However, specific details on how she will tackle such cases have yet to be announced.

Kazim Rizvi, founding director of New Delhi-based public policy think-tank The Dialogue, said the new law should continue to be aligned with case law prescribed in Shreya Singhal and that the safe harbor provision is important given its importance to a free and open country Internet and should take into account the evolving multifunctional system of platforms rather than taking a straight-forward approach to classifying intermediaries.

“The government’s intentions and efforts are commendable, but given the chain of other ongoing policy interventions, such as the data protection law, the competition law amendment and the telecom law, it is important that all these regulatory interventions are well coordinated and harmonized and that there are no overlaps that would stifle innovation and pose implementation problems,” he said.

The exact timetable for the law’s entry into force has yet to be determined, although the government has begun soliciting comments from stakeholders. The minister also said the government will convene consultations in various Indian cities before implementation.