Intermediaries like Internet Service Providers and social networking sites were provided safe harbour protection from liability arising out of user generated content by an amendment to Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 enacted in 2008. This protection was however contingent on the intermediaries following guidelines issued by the Government in this regard. The Government notified the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules in April 2011 prescribing guidelines for the intermediaries. However these Rules raise serious concerns since neither the service providers nor the end users are able to understand the extent of their rights and duties due to the ambiguous and unexplained nature of the terms constituting unlawful content under these Rules. Concerns were also raised by users as to how the Rules could adversely affect their rights to freedom of speech and expression.
In order to address these issues, SFLC.in has carried out extensive empirical as well as doctrinal research regarding the constitutionality of these Rules and the way it affects the users and intermediaries. This was done by way of organizing Round-table consultations in New Delhi, Bangalore, Cochin and Mumbai, which helped in compiling and analyzing varied views from cross-sections of the society pertaining to the safe harbour regime. We also did a comparative analysis of such protection provided in other jurisdictions.
We are immensely pleased to invite you to the release of our report, “Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 – An Analysis”on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 18:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs at the India International Centre, New Delhi.
The release of the Report will be followed by a Panel discussion on the topic of Intermediary Liability consisting of eminent Parliamentarians and other significant members from the industry and the civil society.