India to take a grip against social media platforms; Law Minister RS Prasad passes new guidelines

india to take a grip against online platforms

As the cyber-crimes based on social media in India are increasing day by day, India has brought about sturdy laws against social media companies.

Social media is a vast platform that is open for cybercriminals. They exploit the vulnerabilities of this platform to perform malicious crimes.

According to experts, social media is targeted based on two attributes, trust and data sharing feature. Threat actors take advantage of both these criteria to create a perfect cyber storm.

Hackers also exploit the personal information of people in social media. Unaware of the danger hiding behind, today’s youth share too much of personal information in social media. They are ignorant about the fact that they are making themselves more available to the hackers by doing so. Over data sharing might seem cool but is vicious.

Considering all these factors, the government has decided to pass strict obligations against the social media groups. The law governs by protecting the rights of the common people.

In the Legislative assembly meeting held in the mid February 2021, Union Law minister Ravi Shankar mentioned that India will always welcome social media companies but they must ensure compliance and should stay away from adopting double standards.

He also added that apart from social media, OTT platforms are also obliged to follow the same rule.

The new amendment comes under the category of Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021.

RS Prasad believes that every social media platform is having a good in India. According to the statistics, an average Indian user spends 2.4 hours in social media per day. If this is the condition with a single user, consider the time spent by the entire population in India and the profit social media companies are making out of us. He exclaims that Indian government always welcomes criticism and have the right to disapprove them.

Practicing double standards will also be banned from now.

The Union Ministers inserts pressure on the companies to ensure the safety of the users. If any kind of criminal act or a case of misbehaviour happens, these companies should take time bound action against the accused without any hesitation.

While taking a closer look, the new law seem to be a ‘soft touch oversight mechanism’ that compels every social media companies to develop a grievance mechanism for itself.

The new law is constructed on the basis of classifying the social media platforms into two groups:

  • Intermediaries
  • Significant social media intermediary

Features of the new law

  • The law ensures social media platforms to adopt Grievance Mechanism, which means any complaint from the user should be registered within 24 hours and should be cleared within 15 days.
  • If a woman arises a complaint against their dignity (such as contents involving nudity, impersonation etc.), the content should be wiped off within 24 hours.
  • Social media entities in India should ensure the following:
  • They should have a Chief compliance officer residing in India who will be responsible for the compliance in the law.
  • They should incorporate a Nodel contact person in India who would coordinate the Law enforcement agencies 24×7.
  • The social media platforms should consider enabling a feature which would identify the primary creator of a media or message. If the creator was found to be outside India, then they must disclose the information about who started sharing that in India.

For OTT platforms, the law includes:

  • Disclosure of information about the content.
  • Implement Grievance Redressal mechanism
  • Self-classifying age related contents.

To accept and establish these laws, the Indian Government has allotted three months for the social media companies.

Major social media crimes found in India

  • Reconnaissance

This is one of the kinds of social media attack which is difficult to detect if it is executed passively. Reconnaissance attack mainly uses the personal information of the users to craft convincing lures such phishing attacks by sending infected links from a genuine appearing source.

  • Fake profiles

This is a very usual kind of attack found in social media. The threat actors impersonate themselves as legitimate profiles to perform the hack. Usually women are targeted in these attacks and thereby questioning their own dignity

  • Social engineering

Social engineering works by manipulating the phycology of the users and thereby making them to share their personal information’s. This is done using phishing emails.

  • Fake news

In today’s society, social media seem to be a perfect platform to spread false accusations. The present generation are blindfoldedly into social media that they believe every happening and news appearing in the social media without giving a second thought.

Solutions

  • Change your account settings to private.
  • Never connect with strangers in social media
  • Never post or share your location to strangers.
  • Never upload high resolution pictures to your profile.
  • Never over share.
  • Limit your personal information.
  • Control comments.

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