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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 13, New Delhi, March 13, 2021

Concern over Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 - Statement by the Editors Guild of India

Friday 12 March 2021

The Editors Guild of India [EGI]

PRESS STATEMENT

March 5th, 2021

The Editors Guild of India [EGI] is deeply concerned about the notification of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. The Rules, issued under the Information Technology Act, 2000, fundamentally alter how publishers of news operate over the Internet and have the potential to seriously undermine media freedom in India.

They empower the Union Government to block, delete, or modify published news anywhere in the country without any judicial oversight and mandate all publishers to establish a grievance redressal mechanism. Various provisions in these rules can place unreasonable restrictions on digital news media, and consequently media at large.

The EGI is concerned that the Government did not consult stakeholders before notifying these far-reaching rules. The Guild urges the Government to put the rules in abeyance and conduct meaningful consultation with all stakeholders.

The government must take note of the fact that in the name of reining an unfettered social media it cannot overwhelm India’s constitutional safeguards for free media that has been the cornerstone of our democracy.

Seema Mustafa, President
Sanjay Kapoor, General Secretary
Anant Nath, Treasurer

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