By Anuradha Gandhi and Rachita Thakur
In its attempt to curb the menace of deepfakes, the Union Government has set the deepfake crackdown in motion. The Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar on November 24, 2023 said that the IT Ministry and the Centre will nominate a Rule Seven Officer and will take 100% compliance expectation from all the platforms.
In continuation, the MeitY has further announced that it will give the social media intermediaries just seven days to align their terms and services and other policies with the Indian laws and regulations to address the issues to the hosting of deepfakes on their platforms.
Meeting with Social Media Intermediaries
The decisions comes in line a day after the Union IT Minister Ashwin Vaishnav had a meeting with the social media and technology companies, an industry body and academics on November 23, 2023. It must thus be noted that the government has initiated the drafting of regulations and will notify the same within few weeks, as informed by the IT Minister, Ashwin Vaishnav.
The proposed legislation will have four pillars that is, detection, prevention, reporting and awareness along with more proactive and time-sensitive reporting mechanism to mitigate damage. The social media intermediaries have also been instructed to submit their plans about dealing with the deepfakes and give suggestions for the regulation. The next meeting is likely to be held in the first week of December, 2023.
However, on November 24, 2023, citing the aforementioned discussion the Union Minister of State, Rajeev Chandrasekhar talked about the way to crackdown deepfakes, thereby expecting 100% compliance form the social media platforms as far as deepfakes are concerned. While addressing the media, the Union Minster of State informed that the intermediaries have agreed that the current regime under the Information Technology Act and rules thereunder provide for adequate compliance requirements on their part to deal with the issue of deepfakes even though certain additional regulations are required given the IT Act is 23 years old.
Rule Seven Officer
As reported the Rule Seven Officer will be a person who will create a platform where it will be easy for the citizens to bring to the kind attention of the Government of India the allegations or reports of violation of law by the platforms. The Officer will be responsible to take digital platform information and respond accordingly.1
Assistance for filing of FIRs
The government will aid and assist citizens to file the First Information Report (FIRs) against social media platforms for violating the Information Technology Rules (IT Rules) due to objectionable content like deepfakes.
[To read more about the deepfakes, kindly refer to our article: https://www.livelaw.in/law-firms/law-firm-articles-/deepfakes-personal-data-artificial-intelligence-machine-learning-ministry-of-electronics-and-information-technology-information-technology-act-242916#:~:text=Laws%20regulating%20Deepfakes%20in%20India&text=Users%20are%20caused%20not%20to,access%20to%20the%20content%20%2F%20information.]