home Uncategorized US Lobby Groups Express Concern Over Proposed Grievance Appellate Committee Gargi Sarkar

US Lobby Groups Express Concern Over Proposed Grievance Appellate Committee Gargi Sarkar

The US lobby groups representing tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook, have expressed concerns about draft amendments to IT Rules, 2021, which have proposed several changes to the existing rules, including formation of a Grievance Appellate Committee.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC), part of the US Chamber of Commerce, and US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), have raised concerns internally over how the committee could operate independently if the government itself is involved in its formation, Reuters reported.

USIBC in an internal letter addressed to the Ministry of Information and Technology said that the rules will create a Grievance Appellate Committee (GAC) “which is entirely controlled by the (IT) Ministry, and lacks any checks or balances to ensure independence.”

It also added that such a committee can lead to over regulation from the government in the absence of industry and civil society representation. 

In addition, the group also cited examples of other countries including the European Union guaranteeing principles of ‘fairness and impartiality’ in its appeal process. On the other hand, a government-funded think tank in Canada recommends an ‘impartial dispute resolution’ by a ‘disinterested professional body’.

USISPF has also questioned in an internal document how the panel’s independence will be ensured. However, both of the lobby groups have also noted that fundamental rights can not be enforced this way.

As per the Reuters report, the government was open to a self regulatory system formed by tech companies to address user concerns. “If they don’t do it, the government will have to. The panel is expected to operate independently,” a government official said as quoted in the report.

For the first time, the government had notified the IT Rules (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code), 2021 for social media apps, online news portals, news aggregators and OTT platforms in February 2021. Last month, the government released draft amendments to the rules. 

The draft has proposed to form a committee which will allow users dissatisfied with a decision of a social media company’s grievance officer to appeal to the government-formed committee. In addition, the social media intermediaries would be mandated to comply with the committee’s decisions. This clause has raised concerns among industry stakeholders, legal experts on government’s control over social media and free speech. 

The post US Lobby Groups Express Concern Over Proposed Grievance Appellate Committee appeared first on Inc42 Media.

The US lobby groups representing tech giants such as Twitter and Facebook, have expressed concerns about draft amendments to IT… News, B2GInc42 Media

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