Friday, March 1, 2024

Centre issues advisory to social media intermediaries with focus on curbing deepfakes – N.F Times


New Delhi: The government on Tuesday issued an advisory to all social media intermediaries, to ensure compliance with the existing IT rules and specifically target the growing concerns around misinformation powered by AI — deepfakes.

The advisory mandates that intermediaries communicate prohibited content, particularly those specified under Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules, clearly and precisely to users.

“A formal advisory has been issued incorporating the ‘agreed to’ procedures to ensure that users on these platforms do not violate the prohibited content in Rule 3(1)(b),” Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandradekhar said.

“If such legal violations of the IT rules are noted or reported. then the consequences under law will follow,” he added.

The advisory emphasises that digital intermediaries must ensure users are informed about penal provisions, including those in the IPC and the IT Act 2000, in case of Rule 3(1)(b) violations.

“The users must be made aware of the various penal provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the IT Act, 2000 and such other laws that may be attracted in case of violation of Rule 3(1)(b). In addition, the terms of service and user agreements must clearly highlight that intermediaries/platforms are under obligation to report legal violations to the law enforcement agencies under the relevant Indian laws applicable to the context,” the advisory further added.

Rule 3(1)(b) within the due diligence section of the IT rules mandates intermediaries to communicate their rules, regulations, privacy policy, and user agreement in the user’s preferred language.

They are also obliged to ensure reasonable efforts to prevent users from hosting, displaying, uploading, modifying, publishing, transmitting, storing, updating, or sharing any information related to the 11 listed user harms or content prohibited on digital intermediaries.

This rule aims to ensure platforms identify and promptly remove misinformation, false or misleading content, and material impersonating others, including deepfakes.

Over a period of one month, Chandrasekhar convened pivotal stakeholder meetings with industry leaders to address the pressing issue of deepfakes.

During the meeting, he highlighted the urgency for all platforms and intermediaries to strictly adhere to the current laws and regulations, emphasising that the IT rules comprehensively address the menace of deepfakes.

“Misinformation represents a deep threat to the safety and trust of users on the Internet. Deepfake, which is misinformation powered by AI, further amplifies the threat to safety and trust of our Digital Nagriks,” said the minister.

“It is PM Narendra Modi government’s mission to ensure that the internet is safe & trusted and all intermediaries are accountable under law for the safety and trust of the Digital Nagriks that use the Indian Internet,” he added.

(IANS)




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