The Government of India threatens Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter employees with jail in attempt to quell political protests and expand its authority to disclose user data on foreign technology platforms.According to The Wall Street Journal, the Indian government’s threats are a direct response to tech companies ‘reluctance to comply with government demands to remove data related to Indian farmers’ protests that have made headlines in international newspapers. At least a few of the written warnings sent to companies mention specific workers from India who face arrest if the companies do not comply with the authorities’ demands.
A WhatsApp spokesman said the company will satisfy requests if they “meet internationally recognized standards, including human rights, due process and the rule of law.”
“Facebook is responding to government requests for data in accordance with applicable laws and terms of service”, – Facebook representatives said.
According to a Twitter spokesman, the platform “will continue to uphold the fundamental principles of an open internet.” In addition, “threats to these principles are growing all over the world, which raises serious concerns,” he added.
Twitter limited access and then quietly restored the accounts of journalists and activists that were sharing information about the protest.
India is setting new rules that give government power over online discourse to a degree unparalleled in other open societies. The regulations require technology companies to appoint Indian-based officials to handle government requests, including a contact person for coordinating orders “24/7 with law enforcement and enforcement officers”.
The rules also require companies to remove content that undermines national security, public order and “decency or morality.” Some companies, such as WhatsApp, also need to help identify the sender of messages, track and save certain messages as they are transmitted.
According to experts, these rules do not provide for any clear legal way to appeal requests to remove content or provide user data. According to the Indian legal system, such requests do not require prior court approval.
“I politely remind the companies, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or WhatsApp or anyone, they are free to work in India, do business, but they need to respect the Indian Constitution”, — Ravi Shankar, the justice and technology minister, told India’s parliament.
According to CNN, India has more Facebook users than any other country.
Let me remind you that China officially legalized the “Social Credit System”, and also remind you that we wrote that Published sum of loss from Internet blocking in Belarus in 2020.
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