Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp will be regulated in India — come January 15

Supreme Court of IndiaBCCL

  • India’s Supreme Court has given the government until January 15 to lay out the rules and regulations for social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
  • The Supreme Court has also pulled in petitions related to social networks that were pending with various high courts.
  • It has promised to resolve the pending cases by the end of January.
Hate speech and fake news are extremely common across social media in India. To deal with this menace, Indian Supreme Court has asked the government to come out with new rules and regulations by 15 January 2020.

The bench, headed by Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose, also directed all pending cases pertaining to social media filed with various high courts to be transferred to the Supreme Court.

There are four petitions in the fray. Two filed with the Madras High Court, one with the Madhya Pradesh High Court and another with the Bombay High Court.

The primary issue at the helm was the linking of Aadhaar cards with social networks and WhatsApp-- which is pending with the Madras High Court.

The petition filed by Facebook argues that disclosure of Aadhaar details will infringe user privacy.

The bench also clarified that India’s Information Technology Act allows the government to ask for decryption of data. At the same time, it does not allow the government to force intermediaries to decrypt the data.

It added that while national interest is important, it must be balanced against privacy.