New IT rules



  • ‘The Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021’ would come into effect soon.
    • The IT rules, 2021 contain rules for social media intermediaries such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Twitter, and Telegram.


  • Despite the closing in on the last date for compliance, most platforms are yet to fully comply with the new rules.
  • While all the concerned companies have vowed to comply with the new rules, some have sought more time for compliance and asked for more consultation with the government agencies over some provisions of the rules.

Chance of misuse:

  • New rules may amount to an overreach and lead to suppression of the right to free expression of people on these platforms.
  • New rules can arm the ruling government to take undue advantage of the power to regulate to suppress views against the ruling dispensation.

Consequences of noncompliance:

  • Though there is no clarity on the immediate consequences of non-compliance. However, experts say these companies could lose the ‘safe harbour’ protection.
    • The safe harbour protection gives the social media intermediaries protection against liability (civil as well as criminal) for content posted on their platform by third party users.
    • The safe harbour protection is granted under Section 79 of the IT Act.
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