• July 21, 2024

MeitY Takes Aim at Deepfakes: New Advisory Outlines IT Rule Compliance for All Intermediaries

MoS Chandrasekhar highlighted the severity of misinformation threats, particularly those amplified by deepfakes. Representational image/Shutterstock

The advisory aims to ensure intermediaries take proactive measures to combat the dissemination of prohibited content, especially those outlined in Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules

Amid escalating concerns surrounding misinformation propagated through artificial intelligence (AI)-generated deepfakes, the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) has issued a comprehensive advisory to all intermediaries, directing them to comply with the existing IT Rules. The advisory aims to ensure intermediaries take proactive measures to combat the dissemination of prohibited content, especially those outlined in Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules.

During the Digital India Dialogues conducted by union minister of state for electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar, with key stakeholders within the digital realm over the past month, discussions culminated in the issuance of this advisory.

According to the advisory: “The content not permitted under the IT Rules, in particular those listed under Rule 3(1)(b) must be clearly communicated to the users in clear and precise language including through its terms of service and user agreements and the same must be expressly informed to the user at the time of first-registration and also as regular reminders, in particular, at every instance of login and while uploading/sharing information onto the platform.”

Furthermore, the advisory underscores the importance of informing users about the legal repercussions, citing penal provisions under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, and the IT Act, 2000, in case of violations related to Rule 3(1)(b).

Rule 3(1)(b) within the IT Rules obliges intermediaries to communicate their regulations, privacy policies, and user agreements in the user’s preferred language while making reasonable efforts to prevent the dissemination of prohibited content, including deepfakes.

MoS Chandrasekhar highlighted the severity of misinformation threats, particularly those amplified by deepfakes. He then stated: “On 17th November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi alerted the country to the dangers of deepfakes and post that, the Ministry has had two Digital India Dialogues with all the stakeholders of the Indian Internet to alert them about the provisions of the IT Rules notified in October 2022, and amended in April 2023 that lays out 11 specific prohibited types of content on all social media intermediaries & platforms.”

Emphasising Rule 3(1)(b)(v), which explicitly prohibits misinformation dissemination, Chandrasekhar reiterated the urgency for intermediaries to exercise due diligence in promptly removing such content. He stressed that platforms have been duly informed of the legal consequences associated with non-compliance.

The minister concluded by affirming the government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and trusted online environment, highlighting their vigilance in monitoring intermediary compliance and readiness to introduce further amendments to uphold the safety and trust of Indian internet users.

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