In a letter written to the Indian government, GitHub, Mozilla, and CloudFlare have urged to see the final draft of intermediary rules that will define how online platforms have to regulate content before it’s presented in front of the Supreme Court on January 15.
The amendments which the government is making to an upcoming law will be affecting swathes of companies and the way more than half a billion people access information online.
As per the draft released in 2018, any online entity with more than five million users will be considered an intermediary. As India has more than 627 million online users, reaching five million users is not hard. The law requires the company to set up a local office and have a senior executive in the nation who could be held responsible for any legal issues.
The proposal also suggested that any of these services must be able to take down questionable content in within 24 hours and share the user data in within 72 hours of request.
The letter is addressed to India’s IT minister, RS Prasad. The companies are also requesting the minister to reconsider safety norms laid out in the last draft of rules as they might promote censorship and increase the burden on a lot of growing companies.
The three internet players believe that imposing the obligations proposed in these new rules would place tremendous, and is some cases fatal burden on online intermediaries, especially new organizations and companies.
Previously, Wikimedia Foundation’s General Counsel Amanda Keton had penned a letter to Ravi Shankar Prasad urging the government to make public the latest changes to the rules. He expressed concerns over these rules as they might throttle Wikipedia’s open and collaborative platform.