India’s technology minister said Tuesday that Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) had deliberately defied and disregarded the country’s new IT rules, which came into effect at the end of May.
They aim to regulate content from social media companies like Facebook (FB.O), their messenger WhatsApp and Twitter to make them more accountable for legal requests to quickly remove posts and share details about who wrote messages do.
The Indian technology ministry wrote to Twitter on June 5, warning the company of “unintended consequences” if it does not follow the rules, Reuters previously reported. It wasn’t directly stated on Tuesday whether Twitter lost interim protection, but a senior government official told Reuters that, due to your breach of the new, Twitter may no longer be able to seek disclaimers as an intermediary or host of user content in Indian rules.
“There are numerous inquiries about whether Twitter is eligible for the Safe Harbor,” Prasad tweeted. But the fact of the matter is that Twitter has failed to adhere to the intermediary guidelines that came into effect on May 26. Twitter, Prasad added, has “taken the path of deliberate defiance when it comes to the intermediary guidelines.”Twitter didn’t respond to a request for comment, despite saying on Monday that it is informing India’s Department of Technology of the steps it is taking.
“An interim compliance director has been hired and details will be communicated directly to the department shortly.” Twitter continues to do everything it can to adhere to the new guidelines. The New Delhi-based digital advocacy group Internet Freedom Foundation said it was only up to the courts, not the government, to decide whether companies like Twitter remain intermediaries for alleged violations like executive appointments.
Rising tensions between the Indian government and big tech companies have angered companies that have spent millions of dollars building hubs in their fastest-growing market as some rethink expansion plans.