Rajeev Chandrasekhar holds consultations with stakeholders on the proposed Digital India Bill
New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Electronics & IT(MeitY) Rajeev Chandrasekhar held consultations with stakeholders on the soon-to-be introduced Digital India Bill.
In a presentation on the objectives and goals of the Bill, the minister said the proposed Bill aims to help India achieve the goal of becoming a trillion-dollar digital economy and be a significant trusted player in the Global Value Chains for digital products, devices, platforms, and solutions.
Chandrasekhar said that the proposed Digital India Act aims to help develop India as a globally competitive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem while at the same time protecting the rights of its citizens.
Stating that the tech ecosystem in general and the Internet, in particular, has evolved significantly after Information Technology Act (IT Act) came into being in 2000, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the new law has to be evolvable and consistent with changing market trends, disruption in technologies, and keep in mind protection of digital citizens from user harm.
“Internet that began as a force of good has today become vulnerable to various types of complex user harms like catfishing, cyber stalking, cyber trolling, gaslighting, phishing, revenge porn, cyber-flashing, dark web, women and children, defamation, cyber-bullying, doxing, salami slicing, etc and there is an urgent need for a specialised and dedicated adjudicatory mechanism for online civil and criminal offences,” the Minister observed.
“We want to ensure the Internet is Open, Safe, Trusted & Accountable and accelerate the growth of innovation and technology and create a framework for accelerating digitalisation of Government and to strengthen democracy and governance,” he said.
Some of the guiding principles of the proposed Bill include managing the complexities of the internet and rapid expansion of the types of intermediaries addressing the risks of emerging technologies, protecting citizen rights, managing and setting guardrails for the varied intermediaries on the internet.
The minister also spoke of promoting free market access and fair-trade practices and ease of doing business and ease of compliance for Startups and delivery of public services through online and mobile platforms in a simple, accessible, interoperable and citizen-friendly manner in the same thread.
Terming the bill as future ready, he said, “The new law should evolve through rules that can be updated and address the tenets of Digital India and designed on a principles & rule-based approach’ to regulation.”
The proposed law, in addition to many aspects of the digital ecosystem, will deal in detail with the question of user harm on the internet.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “The internet can be a responsible space and illegal content certainly does not find any place on the Indian internet.”
The minister also held an interactive discussion with the various stakeholders, including industry representatives, lawyers, Intermediaries, and consumer groups amongst others, and invited their input on it.