Websites operating in India will have to ensure that any content identified as fake by agencies authorised by the central government is not allowed on their platforms, the Union information technology ministry has proposed as an amendment to the Information Technology Rules.
The proposed amendment was made available on the public domain on Tuesday.
The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules regulate intermediaries, which include social media websites, internet service providers and online marketplaces as well as digital media publishers, which include news websites and streaming services.
On Tuesday, the information technology ministry proposed an amendment to a provision in the Rules to make it mandatory to take down any content identified as fake by the fact check unit of the Press Information Bureau or any other agency authorised by the central government.
The amendment came to light just a week ahead of the consultation period for amendments to the IT rules ends on January 25.
The updated(?) amendments also propose changes to rule 3(1)(b)(v) under Part II (due diligence requirements for intermediaries). The updated sub-clause may make it necessary for intermediaries to take down content that has been ‘fact-checked’ by the Union government. 2/4 pic.twitter.com/CdoDVmwF14
— Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) January 17, 2023
The Press Information Bureau’s fact-checking unit was set…