Section 69A of IT Act, 2000

Section 69A of IT Act, 2000

News: In its latest faceoff with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Twitter has initiated legal action against some of the government directives ordering it to take down certain content on the site.

What is Section 69(A)?
• Section 69 (A) of the IT Act, 2000 allows the Centre to issue blocking orders to social media intermediaries.

Blocking orders can be issued only for
Security of the state
Defence of India
Public orderFriendly relation with Foreign states
Matters concerning Sovereignty and Integrity of India
• Lastly, blocking orders can be issued for preventing of incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to those mentioned above.
As per rules that govern these blocking orders, any request made by the government is sent to a review committee, which then issues these directions. Blocking orders issued under Section 69 (A) of the IT Act are typically confidential in nature.

Why has Twitter filed a lawsuit?
• Twitter has claimed that many of the blocking orders are procedurally and substantively deficient under Section 69 (A) of the Act.
• For example, not giving prior notice to users before taking down content posted by them.
• MeitY has failed to demonstrate how some of the content it wants taken down falls under the purview of Section 69 (A).
• Some of the content flagged by the ministry may pertain to official accounts of political parties, blocking which could violate the right to free speech.

How has Government responded?
• While MeitY is yet to formally respond to Twitter’s claims in the lawsuit.
• Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MoS for Electronics & Information Technology, made an apparent reference to the case in a Twitter post: “In India, all including Foreign internet intermediaries/platforms have right to court and judicial review. But equally all intermediary/platforms operating here, have unambiguous obligation to comply with our laws and rules”

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