India needs 'modern, light-touch regulation' for internet intermediaries: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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New Delhi, Apr 14 (PTI) India needs a 'modern, light-touch regulation' for internet intermediaries that allows the government and consumers to seek accountability from these platforms, BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said.

Chandrasekhar is a member of the parliamentary panel on the Personal Data Protection Bill.

Underlining the need for rule-based Internet, he said, 'I don't think regulations for regulating internet intermediaries have to be a heavy-handed regulation or you need a policeman of the internet. There has to be an approach to develop a rule-based internet.' Speaking in a panel discussion organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), he said India is moving into a regime where internet intermediaries who have escaped any form of regulation are coming into some regulation, and added that the broad ownership of the internet should remain with the open society.

Chandrasekhar said, 'I think there is a need for modern, light-touch regulation that allows government and consumers to seek some sort of accountability from these platforms of their conduct.' Noting that there is outrage about unaccountable concentration of powers on these platforms on the internet, the parliamentarian said there is a need to reset that.

Chandrasekhar, who has worked with Intel and had started a mobile services company BPL, said India is the largest connected democracy in the world and as parliamentarian he has a moral obligation to protect these consumers and give them their right to access open internet.

He said to make an argument that intermediaries on the internet need regulation is a “slam dunk” argument. There is nobody on this planet who will contest the logic of government playing this role.

The Joint Committee of Parliament examining the Personal Data Protection Bill has been given time till the monsoon session to submit its report. It was constituted in December 2019.

The Personal Data Protection Bill seeks to regulate the use of individual's data by the government and private companies.

So far, the committee has held meetings with representatives of Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Google, Airtel, Jio, Ola, Uber and Paytm among others. PTI JTR SMN SMN

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