The government held its first public consultation meeting with various industry and policy stakeholders related to the proposed Digital India Act (DIA).
The government intends to replace the IT Act 2000, which was created in the early days of the internet, with the newly proposed Digital India Act.
Internet and information technology have empowered citizens but they have also created challenges in the form of user harm; security; women and child safety; organised information wars, radicalisation and circulation of hate speech; misinformation and fake news; unfair trade practices.
The current Act according to a government presentation, has limitations such as a lack of comprehensive provisions on user rights, trust, and safety; limited recognition of new forms of cybercrimes; lack of regulatory approaches for harmful and illegal content; lack of adequate principles for data/privacy protection, among others.
In his presentation made in Bengaluru, Union minister of state for information and technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the new law should evolve through rules that can be updated, and address the tenets of Digital India — Open Internet, Online Safety, and Trust, Accountability, and Quality of Service, Adjudicatory mechanism, and New Technologies.
“1st time in the history of India – public consultant for a new law starts with a dialogue on goals&design principles of #DigitalIndiaAct,” Chandrasekhar tweeted.
The minister explained all the tenets of Digital India to stakeholders through the presentation.
An Open Internet, as per the presentation, should have a choice; competition; online diversity, fair market access, Ease of Doing Business, and Ease of Compliance for Startups.
Privacy-invasive devices such as spy camera glasses and wearable tech may be mandated under stringent regulation before market entry with strict KYC requirements for retail sales with appropriate criminal law sanctions.
Content Monetisation Rules for platform-generated and user-generated content also found mentioned in the presentation.
Going ahead, the government will conduct a comparative study of all relevant global laws pertaining to the internet and technology in other countries, before coming up with the draft bill.
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