Where an intermediary fails to observe these rules, the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 79 of the Act shall not be applicable to such intermediary and the intermediary shall be liable for punishment under any law for the time being in force including the provisions of the Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Part II: Due Diligence By Intermediaries And Grievance Redressal Mechanism
(1) The Ministry may by order, for reasons to be recorded in writing, require any intermediary, which is not a significant social media intermediary, to comply with all or any of the obligations mentioned under rule 4, if the services of that intermediary permits the publication or transmission of information in a manner that may create a material risk of harm to the sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order.
(2) The assessment of material risk of harm referred to in sub-rule (1) shall be made having regard to the nature of services of such intermediary, and if those services permit,—
(a) interaction between users, notwithstanding, whether it is the primary purpose of that intermediary; and
(b) the publication or transmission of information to a significant number of other users as would be likely to result in widespread dissemination of such information.
(3) An order under this rule may be issued in relation to a specific part of the computer resources of any website, mobile based application or both, as the case may be, if such specific part is in the nature of an intermediary:
Provided that where such order is issued, an entity may be required to comply with all or any of the obligations mentions under rule 4, in relation to the specific part of its computer resource which is in the nature of an intermediary.
In addition to adherence to rules 3 and 4, as may be applicable, an intermediary shall publish, on an appropriate place on its website, mobile based application or both, as the case may be, a clear and concise statement informing publishers of news and current affairs content that in addition to the common terms of service for all users, such publishers shall furnish the details of their user accounts on the services of such intermediary to the Ministry as may be required under rule 18:
Provided that an intermediary may provide such publishers who have provided information under rule 18 with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification as being publishers, which shall be visible to all users of the service.
Explanation.—This rule relates only to news and current affairs content and shall be administered by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
(1) In addition to the due diligence observed under rule 3, a significant social media intermediary shall, within three months from the date of notification of the threshold under clause (v) of sub-rule (1) of rule 2, observe the following additional due diligence while discharging its duties, namely:—
(a) appoint a Chief Compliance Officer who shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Act and rules made thereunder and shall be liable in any proceedings relating to any relevant third-party information, data or communication link made available or hosted by that intermediary where he fails to ensure that such intermediary observes due diligence while discharging its duties under the Act and rules made thereunder:
Provided that no liability under the Act or rules made thereunder may be imposed on such significant social media intermediary without being given an opportunity of being heard.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause “Chief Compliance Officer” means a key managerial personnel or such other senior employee of a significant social media intermediary who is resident in India;
(b) appoint a nodal contact person for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies and officers to ensure compliance to their orders or requisitions made in accordance with the provisions of law or rules made thereunder.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause “nodal contact person” means the employee of a significant social media intermediary, other than the Chief Compliance Officer, who is resident in India;
(c) appoint a Resident Grievance Officer, who shall, subject to clause (b), be responsible for the functions referred to in sub-rule (2) of rule 3.
Explanation.—For the purposes of this clause, “Resident Grievance Officer” means the employee of a significant social media intermediary, who is resident in India;
(d) publish periodic compliance report every month mentioning the details of complaints received and action taken thereon, and the number of specific communication links or parts of information that the intermediary has removed or disabled access to in pursuance of any proactive monitoring conducted by using automated tools or any other relevant information as may be specified;
(2) A significant social media intermediary providing services primarily in the nature of messaging shall enable the identification of the first originator of the information on its computer resource as may be required by a judicial order passed by a court of competent jurisdiction or an order passed under section 69 by the Competent Authority as per the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for interception, monitoring and decryption of information) Rules, 2009, which shall be supported with a copy of such information in electronic form:
Provided that an order shall only be passed for the purposes of prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or punishment of an offence related to the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, or public order, or of incitement to an offence relating to the above or in relation with rape, sexually explicit material or child sexual abuse material, punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less than five years:
Provided further that no order shall be passed in cases where other less intrusive means are effective in identifying the originator of the information:
Provided also that in complying with an order for identification of the first originator, no significant social media intermediary shall be required to disclose the contents of any electronic message, any other information related to the first originator, or any information related to its other users:
Provided also that where the first originator of any information on the computer resource of an intermediary is located outside the territory of India, the first originator of that information within the territory of India shall be deemed to be the first originator of the information for the purpose of this clause.
(3) A significant social media intermediary that provides any service with respect to an information or transmits that information on behalf of another person on its computer resource (a) for direct financial benefit in a manner that increases its visibility or prominence, or targets the receiver of that information; or
(b) to which it owns a copyright, or has an exclusive license, or in relation with which it has entered into any contract that directly or indirectly restricts the publication or transmission of that information through any means other than those provided through the computer resource of such social media intermediary, shall make that information clearly identifiable to its users as being advertised, marketed, sponsored, owned, or exclusively controlled, as the case may be, or shall make it identifiable as such in an appropriate manner.
(4) A significant social media intermediary shall endeavour to deploy technology-based measures, including automated tools or other mechanisms to proactively identify information that depicts any act or simulation in any form depicting rape, child sexual abuse or conduct, whether explicit or implicit, or any information which is exactly identical in content to information that has previously been removed or access to which has been disabled on the computer resource of such intermediary under clause (d) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3, and shall display a notice to any user attempting to access such information stating that such information has been identified by the intermediary under the categories referred to in this sub-rule:
Provided that the measures taken by the intermediary under this sub-rule shall be proportionate having regard to the interests of free speech and expression, privacy of users on the computer resource of such intermediary, including interests protected through the appropriate use of technical measures:
Provided further that such intermediary shall implement mechanisms for appropriate human oversight of measures deployed under this sub-rule, including a periodic review of any automated tools deployed by such intermediary:
Provided also that the review of automated tools under this sub-rule shall evaluate the automated tools having regard to the accuracy and fairness of such tools, the propensity of bias and discrimination in such tools and the impact on privacy and security of such tools.
(5) The significant social media intermediary shall have a physical contact address in India published on its website, mobile based application or both, as the case may be, for the purposes of receiving the communication addressed to it.
(6) The significant social media intermediary shall implement an appropriate mechanism for the receipt of complaints under sub-rule (2) of rule 3 and grievances in relation to the violation of provisions under this rule, which shall enable the complainant to track the status of such complaint or grievance by providing a unique ticket number for every complaint or grievance received by such intermediary:
Provided that such intermediary shall, to the extent reasonable, provide such complainant with reasons for any action taken or not taken by such intermediary in pursuance of the complaint or grievance received by it.
(7) The significant social media intermediary shall enable users who register for their services from India, or use their services in India, to voluntarily verify their accounts by using any appropriate mechanism, including the active Indian mobile number of such users, and where any user voluntarily verifies their account, such user shall be provided with a demonstrable and visible mark of verification, which shall be visible to all users of the service:
Provided that the information received for the purpose of verification under this sub-rule shall not be used for any other purpose, unless the user expressly consents to such use.
(8) Where a significant social media intermediary removes or disables access to any information, data or communication link, under clause (b) of sub-rule (1) of rule 3 on its own accord, such intermediary shall,—
(a) ensure that prior to the time at which such intermediary removes or disables access, it has provided the user who has created, uploaded, shared, disseminated, or modified information, data or communication link using its services with a notification explaining the action being taken and the grounds or reasons for such action;
(b) ensure that the user who has created, uploaded, shared, disseminated, or modified information using its services is provided with an adequate and reasonable opportunity to dispute the action being taken by such intermediary and request for the reinstatement of access to such information, data or communication link, which may be decided within a reasonable time;
(c) ensure that the Resident Grievance Officer of such intermediary maintains appropriate oversight over the mechanism for resolution of any disputes raised by the user under clause (b).
(9) The Ministry may call for such additional information from any significant social media intermediary as it may consider necessary for the purposes of this part.
(a) The intermediary shall prominently publish on its website,mobile based application or both,as the case may be, the name of the Grievance Officer and his contact details as well as mechanism by which a user or a victim may make complaint against violation of the provisions of this rule or any other matters pertaining to the computer resources made available by it, and the Grievance Officer shall –
(i) acknowledge the complaint within twenty four hours anddispose offsuch complaint within a period of fifteen days from the date of its receipt;
(ii) receive and acknowledge any order, notice or direction issued by the Appropriate Government, any competent authority or a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) The intermediary shall, within twenty-four hours from the receipt of a complaint made by an individual or any person on his behalf under this sub-rule, in relation to any content which
is prima facie in the nature of any material which exposes the private area of such individual, shows such individual in full or partial nudity or shows or depicts such individual in any
sexual act or conduct, or is in the nature of impersonation in an electronic form, including artificially morphed images of such individual, take all reasonable and practicable measures to
remove or disable access to such content which is hosted, stored, published or transmitted by it:
(c) The intermediary shall implement a mechanism for the receipt of complaints underclause
(b) of this sub-rule which may enable the individual or person to provide details, as may be necessary, in relation to such content or communication link.