Indian laws supreme, not your policies: Parliamentary panel tells Twitter
Twitter officials on Friday deposed before a Parliamentary panel over the prevention of misuse of the microblogging platform. During the nearly 95-minute-long deposition, the panel reminded Twitter that it must abide by Indian law, not its own policies. The development comes amid a months-long row between Twitter and the central government over the new IT Rules in India. Here are more details.
Twitter India's public policy manager Shagufta Kamran and legal counsel Ayushi Kapoor testified before the Parliamentary panel on Friday. The officials are reported to have faced difficult questions from the panel during the deposition. When the IT panel asked the officials if Twitter follows the law of the land, the officials reportedly responded saying, "We follow our own policies."
To this, the Parliamentary panel, led by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, said, "Indian laws are supreme and the firm has to abide by them." The panel further told the Twitter officials, "The rule of the land is supreme and not your policy," Mint reported.
On June 5, the Centre issued "one last notice" asking Twitter to "immediately" comply with the new IT Rules. The rules were issued in February and require social media platforms to set up a three-tier grievance redressal framework and remove content within 36 hours of a legal order. Social media platforms were required to ensure compliance within three months (exhausted on May 26).
In its June 5 notice, the Centre had warned Twitter that non-compliance will result in the platform losing exemption from liability under the IT Act. Reportedly, the government has already stripped Twitter of its protection. The warning was notably issued after Twitter removed the "blue tick" verification badges from the personal account of Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and members of the RSS.
Earlier, the Delhi Police had also sought an explanation from Twitter as to why it described an alleged "Congress toolkit" against the central government as 'manipulated media'. The police also questioned Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari on May 31 over the issue.