MeitY’s Advisory Unveiled to tackle Deepfake menace

January 5, 2024
MeitY’s Advisory

By Anuradha Gandhi and Isha Sharma


A formal advisory has been issued incorporating the ‘agreed to’ procedures to ensure that users on these platforms do not violate the prohibited content in Rule 3(1) (b): MoS Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

On Tuesday, December 26, 2023 the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) issued a pertinent advisory1 to social media companies, emphasizing compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

This advisory specifically targeted the robust crackdown on artificially generated ‘deepfake’ content. It is noteworthy that a similar advisory was initially dispatched to social media platforms in early November.

MeitY’s Advisory on ‘deepfake’:

“Content not permitted under the IT Rules, in particular those listed under Rule 3(1) (b) must be clearly communicated to the users”: MEITY

In accordance with the provision of Rule 3(1) (b) of the IT Rules, it is mandatory for intermediaries to inform about their rules, regulations, privacy policy and user agreement to the users in their preferred language and are also obliged to make reasonable efforts to prevent users from hosting, displaying, uploading, modifying, publishing, transmitting, storing, updating or sharing any information related to the 11 listed user harms or content prohibited on digital intermediaries.

It further aims to ensure platforms identify and promptly remove misinformation, false or misleading content and material impersonating others, including deepfakes.

The advisory underscores that content prohibited under the IT Rules, particularly those listed under Rule 3(1) (b) must be clearly communicated to users in a precise manner, including through its terms of service and user agreements.

The advisory outlined, “The users must be made aware of the various penal provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, the IT Act, 2000 and such other laws that may be attracted in case of violation of Rule 3(1) (b). In addition, the terms of service and user agreements must clearly highlight that intermediaries/platforms are under obligation to report legal violations to the law enforcement agencies under the relevant Indian laws applicable to the context.”

The ministry further outlined, “The advisory mandates that intermediaries communicate prohibited content, particularly those specified under Rule 3(1)(b) of the IT Rules, clearly and precisely to users.”

This advisory comes on the heels of a month-long pivotal stakeholder meeting convened by the Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Electronics & IT, and Jal Shakti, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, with industry leaders. The meeting addressed growing concerns with regard to deepfakes.

Additionally, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will closely monitor the compliance of intermediaries in the upcoming weeks and will follow up with additional amendments to the IT Rules and/or the law “if and when required”.

Upholding the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi government’s mission to ensure a safe and trusted internet, the ministry reiterated that all intermediaries are accountable under the law for the safety and trust of the Digital Nagrik’s utilizing the Indian internet.

To recall, the IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had announced the forthcoming formulation of rules to regulate deepfakes in November. However as of now, no draft has been presented. The government clarified that amendments to the IT Rules would be construed “if and when required”. The full extract of the advisory sent to platforms has not been shared by the IT Ministry yet.

A prior advisory had also been issued addressing the escalating concerns associated with the use of deepfake technology. To know more about it, please refer to our article titled “Nobody is Safe: Deepfake”

Webinar on Deepfakes – Associated Risks, Legal Implications and Policy Response organized by S.S. Rana & Co.

To discuss the pressing issue of the use of Deepfake technology and the implications thereof, S.S. Rana & Co. conducted a webinar on this very topic. In this webinar, a diverse range of panelists with an abundance of experience regarding this topic, shared their insights. Prof. Mini Srivastava deliberated on the effects of deepfakes to the individual and society. Prof Triveni Singh stressed upon the misuse of advanced technology to commit crimes. Mr. Nitin Wali specifically talked about the need for a framework on AI while Mr. Jayant Sundaresan talked of the psychological damage caused via these Deepfakes. Lastly, Mr. Vikrant Rana talked about the legal measures to ensure the detection, prevention and forensic analysis of deepfakes.

To know more about the Webinar conducted on deepfakes, please click the link below:


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