Social media platforms are required to allow users to voluntarily verify their accounts and provide them with visible verification marks, Parliament informed on Friday.
In a written response to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government is aware of the risk and danger posed by the growing phenomena of misinformation, bots, criminality and harm to users in general.
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He said that to ensure an open, safe, reliable and responsible internet for its users, the government notified the Information Technology Rules 2021 (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Code of Ethics for Digital Media) (“ IT rules 2021”).
“According to Rule 4(7) of the said rules, major social media intermediaries must allow users to voluntarily verify their accounts and such user accounts must have visible verification marks,” Chandrasekhar said.
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In response to a separate question about the measures taken by the government to protect the country’s cyberspace from anonymity and abuse of it, the minister said that for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or repression of an offense related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, state security, etc., the new IT rules provide for the identification of the first author of the information on the important social media intermediary (SSMI) mainly providing messaging service.
“CERT-In has also issued instructions under the provisions of subsection (6) of section 70B of the Computers Act 2000 which cover aspects relating to subscriber/customer registration details by data centres. data providers, virtual private server (VPS) providers, VPN service providers, etc,” Chandrasekhar said.