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Rule of land supreme: Parliamentary panel tells Twitter officials

Twitter officials appeared before a Parliamentary committee headed by Shashi Tharoor yesterday (June 18, 2021) and insisted that it had its own policies in place that it follows to safeguard users’ privacy and security on the microblogging platform.

This didn’t go down well with the panel, which comprised members from across political parties. The Parliamentary committee told Twitter officials in no uncertain terms that “Rule of the land is supreme and not your policy”. According to sources, the deposition lasted for 90 minutes.

The Panel has asked Twitter to submit its written response to various questions posed by its members.

While all major digital players have complied with the new IT Rules 2021, which came into effect from May 26, 2021, Twitter has been at loggerheads with the Government and is yet to appoint a grievance redressal officer, even as it has named interim compliance and nodal officers in India.

A couple of days back, officials had said that with the non-compliance, Twitter stands to lose the immunity as an intermediary under the Indian laws and could be held accountable for any unlawful comment posted by users on the Twitter.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law & Justice, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, too, lashed out at Twitter, calling its non-compliance a deliberate action. In a series of Tweets, Prasad stated, “Indian companies, be it pharma, IT or others that go to do business in USA or in other foreign countries, voluntarily follow the local laws. Then why are platforms like Twitter showing reluctance in following Indian laws designed to give voice to the victims of abuse and misuse?”

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