lørdag 13. mars 2021

'Wolf in watchdog's clothing': India's new digital media laws spark fears for freedoms

Not long before he was elected as India’s prime minister in 2014, Narendra Modi spoke of his dreams of a “digital India”, where “access to information knows no barriers”. But this week, unprecedented barriers on every form of digital content, from online news to social media and films and television on streaming platforms, came into force, making India’s digital realm one of the most heavily regulated of any major democracy.

The series of sweeping new IT rules bring almost everything that happens online under a mechanism of government regulation, including giving the government powers to remove “objectionable” online content and erasing people’s right to privacy on social media and encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp. The move has provoked a huge backlash among the world of tech and media and a legal challenge against the rules was raised in Delhi high court this week by several online publishers.