Tracking the evolution of safe-harbour law in India: IT rules in 2021 and beyond

18 Nov 2021 1130 - 1245 GMT

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A webinar presented by the India Working Group of the IBA Asia Pacific Regional Forum and supported by the IBA Technology Law Committee

The Indian Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 (the ‘Rules’) bring about significant changes for social media intermediaries in terms of increasing due diligence obligations and liability in cases of non-compliance. Although the Rules contain some features that bring accountability to intermediaries, such as that, prior to a content takedown, a user should be provided with adequate notice, on the other hand, the Rules’ progressive features seem outweighed by more onerous requirements – for example, having resident officers and traceability that may criminalise end-to-end encryption.

Hence, understanding the key aspects of the Rules has become vital for everyone working with technology and media organisations in India. This webinar will discuss the challenges the Rules pose to technology and media organisations in India.

Issues discussed will include:

  • Significant social media intermediaries (SSMI) as defined in the Rules must identify the first originator of information (FOI) on their platform. Who exactly is this FOI? Can an SSMI do so without breaking encryption?

  • Will mandatory ‘automated filtering’ to identify content containing sexual abuse require user content tagging and generate significant user data?

  • The grievance redress mechanism (GRM) provisions require maintaining resident officers, setting up complaint status tracking, giving reasoned decisions within stipulated timelines, and dealing with the lack of judicial oversight. How is this working out?

  • The potentially chilling effect of the Digital Media Ethics Code: all oversight is by Government of India officers. Does this encourage self-censorship? Is judicial oversight better?


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Certificate of Attendance

Certificates of attendance for each session will be provided, automatically, to all delegates who have registered in advance and attended the live broadcast for a minimum of 30 minutes based on verified sign-in and sign-out times. Certificates can only be issued to the name provided at the time of registration. If you have any queries relating to your Certificate of Attendance, please email

Sajai Singh

J Sagar Associates, Bangalore, Karnataka, India; Chair, Technology Law Committee

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Confirmed speakers
Adnan Ahmad Ansari

9.9 Insights, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Shahana Chatterji

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, New Delhi, Delhi, India

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Lijun Chui

Bird & Bird, Singapore, Singapore

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Sharanya Ranga

Advaya Legal, Mumbai, India; Website Officer, Closely Held and Growing Business Enterprises Committee