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Mainstream, VOL LIX No 15, New Delhi, March 27, 2021

Letter ot the Prime Minister About the Notification of Information Technology Rules 2021 | Editors Guild of India

Friday 26 March 2021

The Editors Guild of India

March 6th, 2021

The Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi, Government of India

South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi-110011

Respected Prime Minister,

Greetings from the Editors Guild of India.

We are 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, have the potential of fundamentally altering how publishers of news operate over the Internet and undermine freedom of press in the country.

The most alarming aspect of these rules is the cumbersome three-tier structure to regulate digital media, with an “Inter-Departmental Committee” at the top, and excessive powers being given to a government officer to block, modify and delete content. Various other provisions in these rules can place unreasonable restrictions on digital news media, and consequently media at large. These rules have been brought in without due consultation with the stakeholders and deepen the worry that freedom of press in India is being seriously compromised.

Given your public commitment towards protecting freedom of speech and expression in India, we urge your urgent intervention in revoking these rules and for facilitating meaningful consultations with all stakeholders for a constructive approach, which is in line with the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and expression. We are including the letter written to the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting as well as the Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, with our detailed feedback and concerns on the Rules.

A delegation of the Editors Guild of India will be happy to meet you to discuss these issues if you can spare some time.

Thanking you.

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

Address: 4/7- A, INS Building, Rafi Marg, New Delhi-110001

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