Provision of emergency interim blocking directions by I&B Ministry not new, clarifies government

The government on Saturday said certain misgivings are being raised regarding Rule 16 under Part III of The Information Technology Rules, 2021 under which interim blocking directions may be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in a case of emergency nature but asserted this is not a new provision.

“The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 provide an institutional framework for news publishers and OTT platforms on the digital media ecosystem. Certain misgivings are being raised regarding Rule 16 under Part III of the rules, which mention that in a case of emergency nature, interim blocking directions may be issued by the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,” an official release by the government said.

The government said this provision is exactly the same as being exercised by the Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) for the past 11 years under the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009.

“Since Part III of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 would be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, that is why the reference to Secretary MeITY has been replaced by Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. There is no new provision, which has been made,” read the release.





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