Do Sweeping Regulations On Digital Media Challenge Privacy, Freedom Of Expression?

PUBLISHED ON: February 26, 2021 | Duration: 44 min, 13 sec

  
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The government has come out with a series of sweeping guidelines that regulate digital media in India like never before. It's called the Guidelines of Intermediaries and Digital Meduca Ethics code. Intermediaries means social media apps like Facebook and WhatsApp and Signal. It affects OTT platforms as well - like Netflix or Amazon Prime. And it impacts online digital news outlets as well. The goal, the government says, is to establish standards for communication across the media, while ensuring that freedom of speech is protected. There are others though who believe that this is nothing but an effort to curb just that - our freedom to communicate and express ourselves. And the contexts are different for different applications. So, in the case of so-called intermediaries, the government wants the power to know who the originator of a message was. But how can that ever happen if communications on, say WhatsApp and Signal, are encrypted. For OTT platforms, there will now be government oversight and strict guidelines on classifying programmes, and ultimately, there will be a big brother - a Joint Secretary who may, in instances, be allowed to remove content. So, on The Big Fight tonight, we discuss if the sweeping regulations on digital media challenge privacy, freedom of expression?
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