This Article is From Jul 05, 2021

Amid Twitter Row, Shashi Tharoor-Led House Panel Summons IT Ministry Officials

The meeting has been scheduled for 4 pm tomorrow, the Shashi Tharoor-led panel has informed members.

Amid Twitter Row, Shashi Tharoor-Led House Panel Summons IT Ministry Officials

The Shashi Tharoor-led panel had earlier sought to know why some Twitter accounts were locked recently.

New Delhi:

Senior officials of key ministries have been summoned by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT tomorrow to gather "evidence" on matters related to citizens' rights in the digital space. The panel led by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor had earlier sought responses from Twitter India on related issues.

The microblogging site's compliance with the IT Rules, 2021, is likely to be discussed at the meeting, sources told NDTV. The US-based company is involved in a face-off, including a court case, with the Indian government over various related matters.

The panel's meeting with officials of the Information and Technology (IT) and Information and Broadcasting ministries has been scheduled for 4 pm tomorrow.

"Evidence of the representatives of the Ministry...on the subject 'Safeguarding citizens' rights and prevention of misuse of social/online news media platforms including special emphasis on women security in the digital space'," according to the official agenda circulated among panel members.

The Committee had, on June 29, sought a response from Twitter India as to why the Twitter accounts of Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Mr Tharoor were locked briefly.

On June 25, Mr Prasad had said that Twitter had denied him access to his account for almost an hour following complaints that he had violated copyright law. Mr Tharoor, too, faced similar action, along with several other users.

Confirming the move, Twitter cited a complaint based on the US's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to justify its action.

The website was asked to explain under what provisions or rules these Twitter accounts were locked.

While Mr Prasad linked the move to an ongoing tussle between Twitter and the Indian government, Mr Tharoor said the DMCA was "getting hyperactive". He then said the IT panel will seek an explanation from the site.

Meanwhile, the Centre today said Twitter had failed to comply with IT Rules, 2021, leading to a loss of immunity as an "intermediary". This amounted to a breach of the law of the land, it said.