The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued new guidelines for social media companies, OTT players, and digital media.
Most significantly, the rules call on social media companies to give details of the originator of a message or tweet. For players like WhatsApp, which are end-to-end encrypted, this could mean they will be forced to break encryption in India in order to comply.
The government says while it is not interested in the content, they are interested to know who started the ‘mischief’. It wants social media platforms to disclose the first originator of the mischievous tweet or message as the case maybe.
This will be required in matters related to security and sovereignty of India, public order, or with regard to rape or any other sexually explicit material.
The rules also made a distinction between a significant social media intermediary and a regular social media intermediary. The government is yet to define the user size to determine who will constitute as a significant social media intermediary.