Governments, Internet Forums Lagging Behind in Regulating Big Tech Firms, MoS IT Says

Safety, trust are core issues for the government to address as 1.2 billion Indians are going to use the Internet, the Minister of State for IT said.

Governments, Internet Forums Lagging Behind in Regulating Big Tech Firms, MoS IT Says

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Kaitlyn Baker

The spread of Internet across the country poses risks, the Minister of State said.

  • The Minister of State was speaking at the India Internet Governance Forum
  • Big tech platforms need to be answerable, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said
  • Government is building the legal policy framework around Internet

Governments across the world and Internet forums have lagged behind in rulemaking for big technology players for their innovations that can cause harm to society, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Sunday.

Speaking at the India Internet Governance Forum (IGF) hosted by FICCI, Chandrasekhar further said the Internet, which has been a force for good, has also increasingly begun to represent risk, user harm and criminality.

"For too long governments of the world and indeed, IGF and most forums have lagged behind these big private platforms, big tech platforms in terms of the do's and don'ts and the rulemaking that are required.

"We treated them for very long as innovators and innovations rather than deal with them as innovations as well as those innovations potentially being able to cause harm and create other disruptions to society and people," Chandrasekhar said.

He said safety and trust are core issues for the government to address, especially because 1.2 billion Indians are going to use the Internet.

"They are going to be the elderly, students, children, women, rural and urban. Therefore safety and trust online become very important policy duties on the part of the government to deliver to our citizens and of course accountability," the ministers said.

He pointed out that the government is slowly and systematically building the legal policy frameworks.

"The consultation and the multi-stakeholder ecosystem that has been built around the Internet in India is helping us bridge these policies and build these laws with extensive consultation," the minister, said citing the example of the intermediary rules that went through almost three-and-a-half months of public consultation.

IT Secretary Alkesh Kumar Sharma said the Digital India program augments the country's mission with digital literacy initiative skills with an exemplary indigenous success story, which has become a world story with technical progress shaping new India.

"We are looking at building laws which ensure the privacy, protection, data, security and safety of our citizens. We are also looking at how to create a trillion-dollar digital economy in the next three years," Sharma said.

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