Google’s argument on IT rules: Google told Delhi High Court – new IT rules should not be applied to us, because we are search engines; no social media


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  • Google Claims Protection Against IT Rules 2021 | Google Said We Are A Search Engine Not A Social Media Intermediary, Google, Search Engine Google, Social Media Intermediary

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New Delhi33 minutes ago

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Google has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court regarding the new IT rules of the Central Government. Google LCC has sought interim relief from the Center’s new IT Act 2021 from the High Court. Under these rules, the Center has issued several guidelines for social media. Google has said that it is a search engine and in such a situation these rules should not apply to it.

The matter pertains to an order of a single judge bench. On the appeal of the woman petitioner, the bench had asked Google to remove the objectionable content. Not only in India but everywhere this content should be removed within 24 hours. The woman had said that the content was taken from her Facebook and Instagram accounts and circulated without her consent. In this matter, Senior Advocate Harish Salve presented Google’s arguments before the court.

Google’s 3 arguments to avoid action
In the order of the Single Bench, we have been described as Social Media Intermediary (SMI). Now if we are not able to remove such post then we should be protected from any kind of penal action under new IT rules, because we are not SMI. First of all we are search engines. In such a situation, we do not come under the purview of SMI under IT Rules 2021.
2. Some content may be considered a crime in India, but it is not considered a crime outside India. In such a situation, orders cannot be given to remove the content globally.
3. The order passed by the Single Judge Bench will set a very bad precedent.

The court had said – if the woman is harmed, then what is the meaning of such a rule?
The single bench of the court had said – The rule of removal of such content is applicable in India too. In such a situation, the search engine should block the search results of this content all over the world. If the harm caused to a petitioner (woman) on account of these rules cannot actually be prevented, then the very purpose of passing such order would not be served.


Government guidelines for social media

  • Appoint your 3 officers, Chief Compliance Officer, Nodal Contact Person and Resident Gravance Officer in all social media India. They should live in India only. Their contact numbers should be published on the app and website.
  • Social media platforms should also tell what is the system of filing complaints. Officers should pay attention to the complaint within 24 hours and tell the complainant within 15 days what action was taken on his complaint and if not taken then why was not taken.
  • Build a system through automated tools and technology to identify the content of rape, child sexual abuse. Apart from this, also identify such information on these, which has been removed from the platform earlier. There should also be adequate staff to review and monitor the working of these tools.
  • Publish a monthly report on the platform. It should contain information about the complaints received in the month, the action taken on them. Information about the links and content that has been removed has been given.
  • If the Platform removes any objectionable information, it must first notify the creator, uploader or sharer of this content. The reason for this should also be given. The user should also be given an opportunity to appeal against the action of the platform. The Gravance Officer should keep a constant watch on the mechanism of settling these disputes.

Google had said to follow the guideline
Earlier, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had said that we are committed to follow the IT rules of the government. It is just the initial phase and our local teams are very busy in this. We respect the local rules of any country and our approach remains constructive in this direction. Our transparency report is clear. When we follow the appeal of any government, we highlight it in this report.

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