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Parliamentary panel gives tough message to Twitter India, says it must abide by Indian law

Source: ANI

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New Delhi [India], June 18: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) has given a tough message to Twitter India and said that the microblogging platform must abide by the law of the country.
During the meeting of the panel on Thursday, Twitter representatives were asked if Twitter India follows the law and land.

“We follow our own policies,” the Twitter representative said, sources told ANI. Two representatives from Twitter India – from legal and policy wings – attended the meeting.

The meeting was held two days after IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Twitter and said the microblogging platform had “deliberately chosen” not to comply with new intermediary guidelines despite being given opportunities.

Sources said the committee members told Twitter representatives to give in writing “how are you placed in Twitter India and how much executive authority you have in terms of taking important policy decisions”.

The sources said Twitter was grilled by members of the parliamentary panel for “not following Indian rules” which entail the appointment of a chief compliance officer.

Twitter was asked why the company should not be fined over “non-compliance” with Indian law and the relevant rules.

Twitter representatives are learnt to have told the panel they were following the rules and have appointed an interim chief compliance officer.

However, the members noted that the rules require the appointment of chief compliance officer and Twitter has “failed” to do so.

Members are also learnt to have said that Twitter was fined in Ireland earlier “for not following the country’s law”.
The committee decided to call “Google, YouTube, Facebook and others” in the next meeting but the date was not decided yet.

Sources said a BJP MP sought to raise the Ghaziabad incident in the meeting today and the role of Twitter but it was not the part of the discussion.

The agenda of the meeting of the panel, headed by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, was ‘Safeguarding citizens’ rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space’.

The panel had summoned top officials Twitter to depose before it. The evidence from representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was also on the agenda of the meeting. (ANI)

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