New Delhi: Former IT minister Kapil Sibal on Saturday attacked the Centre over the fact-check provisions of the IT Amendment Rules, saying now the government will decide what is fake and Union Home Minister Amit Shah says democracy is not in danger.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday said internet firms like Google, Facebook and Twitter may lose protection under safe harbour if they fail to remove content identified by the government-notified fact-checker as false or misleading information.
Reacting to the development, Sibal said, "Now PIB will decide what is fake and what is not and notify it. If online platforms choose to ignore, they will lose their immunity from prosecution." "Now Government to decide what is fake and what is not! And Amit Shah ji says democracy is not in danger," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Sibal was referring to remarks made by Shah in Uttar Pradesh on Friday when he attacked Congress leader Rahul Gandhi over his recent comments in the UK, saying that it's not democracy that is in danger but "your family" and the idea of dynasty politics.
Chandrasekhar had said the IT ministry will notify an entity that will flag false information posted online pertaining to the government.
While releasing guidelines under the IT Rules 2021, the minister had said that the work on fact check is still in progress.
On Friday, Chandrasekhar dismissed the criticism of the change in rules as "deliberate misinformation".
"There are NO Sweeping powers - neither is it 'draconian'. IT Rules already have provisions from Oct 2022, which mandate Social Media intermediaries to not carry certain types of content if they are to have legal immunity under Sec79 of IT act," Chandrasekhar had said on Twitter.
He said the new credible fact-checking unit for all government-related content will help social media intermediaries.