Online news media publishers may come under the ambit of Section 69(A) of IT Act: Report
As per a new set of government guidelines, which are still to come into effect, the Centre aims to treat online, digital news media equivalent to TV news channels and newspapers.
As per a new set of government guidelines, which are still to come into effect, the Centre aims to treat online, digital news media equivalent to TV news channels and newspapers. Moreover, it has been reported that the government is contemplating to bring online, digital news media publishers under the purview of Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act. Noteworthy, the said Section 69(A) of the IT Act vests in the government takedown powers as well.
Further, as mentioned in the document, digital media will include any type of digitised content that can be transmitted over the internet or computer networks - which include social media platforms and intermediaries like Twitter and Facebook as well, as per the HT report.
Earlier, in November 2020, the government had brought OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ Hotstar besides other online news and current affairs content under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, giving it powers to regulate policies and rules for the digital space.
According to a notification issued by the Cabinet Secretariat and signed by President Ram Nath Kovind, the decision has been taken in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (3) of article 77 of the Constitution, by amending the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 and it will come into effect immediately. "These rules may be called the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Three Hundred and Fifty Seventh Amendment Rules, 2020. They shall come into force at once.
"In the Government of India (Allocation of Business, 1961, in THE SECOND SCHEDULE, under the heading 'MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING (SOOCHANA AUR PRASARAN MANTRALAYA)' after entry 22, the following sub-heading and entries shall be inserted, namely:- VA. DIGITAL/ONLINE MEDIA. 22A. Films and Audio-Visual programmes made available by online content providers. 22B. News and current affairs content on online platforms," it said.
With this, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has the power to regulate policies related to news, audio, visual contents and films available on online platforms. The decision came in less than a month after the Supreme Court sought the Centre's response on a PIL for regulating the Over The Top (OTT) platforms by an autonomous body.
Get Latest Business News, Stock Market Updates and Videos; Check your tax outgo through Income Tax Calculator and save money through our Personal Finance coverage. Check Business Breaking News Live on Zee Business Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe on YouTube.