EngageMedia joins a group of digital rights advocates and organisations calling on the Indian government to withdraw amendments to the Information Technology Rules 2021 (IT Rules 2021). The proposed revisions threaten rights to freedom of expression and privacy, as well as other human rights protected under the Indian Constitution and international law.
The statement, signed by 19 organisations, details how the proposed amendments curtail people’s digital rights by imposing additional due diligence requirements on intermediaries that could result in over-censorship; impractical timeframes for addressing complex freedom of information issues; and the formation of a Grievance Appellate Committee that would allow the government to exert undue control over protected speech.
The groups urge the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, as well as the rest of the Indian government, to:
- Suspend the implementation of IT Rules 2021 and review them in their entirety to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression, information, association and privacy, are protected;
- Withdraw the proposed draft amendments;
- Conduct a sustained, meaningful, and participatory consultation with relevant stakeholders and the public.