India issues final notice to Twitter to comply with its new IT rules


Social media companies have been on the hot seat in many countries, including India, and now Twitter is facing a final notice to comply with new IT rules there. Countries like India and others are implementing new rules that seemingly take aim at these social media platforms.

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These new rules became effective at the end of last month and are intended to regulate content on social media and make tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter more accountable to legal requests. They also require these and other social media companies to set up grievance redressal mechanisms and appoint new executives to coordinate with law enforcement.

But not everyone is on board with the new IT rules India is putting in place. Dataquest says these new rules would put the online safety of Indian citizens at risk:

On the surface, these Guidelines seem to aim squarely at social media platforms and addressing the growing proliferation of fake news and problematic materials posted online. This includes a traceability requirement, or the ability to track down the originator of a particular piece of content or message.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has emphasized that encryption is not a target in these new IT Rules 2021. Yet here’s the problem, as cybersecurity experts have pointed out, both in India and abroad, tracing a content’s originator is technically problematic.

It is simply not possible for companies to try to comply with the new guidelines without suppressing at least some features that are integral for strong encryption to work properly. The likely outcome will be for those platforms to stop offering end-to-end encrypted services altogether. With the traceability requirement, the government appears to be compelling popular online platforms to weak encryption without explicitly telling them to do so.


The whole situation in India is complex with many layers to sift through. The one thing we do know for certain is, the government says Twitter will face “unintended consequences” which means we don’t actually know anything. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

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