iMessage out of purview of new IT rules; MeitY withdraws letter seeking compliance [details]

India’s new Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, simply called IT Rules, have dominated the headlines ever since its implementation on May 26. The government’s run-in with social media giants. especially Twitter, over non-compliance, had grabbed nationwide attention. While the IT Ministry stood firm on its decision to ask Twitter to obey the law of the land, the microblogging platform finally had to give in. Amidst all this, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had even sent Apple a letter seeking details on compliance with the new IT rules.

The government’s letter to Apple was in respect to the iPhone maker’s proprietary messaging service. But the letter was withdrawn after the government understood that the iMessage platform would not be considered a “social media intermediary” as it wasn’t an instant messaging service provider but in fact a feature like SMS in any smartphone out there. iMessage cannot be downloaded separately on any phone.

“Unlike other messaging apps like, say, WhatsApp, can anyone download iMessage on their phone and use it? If that logic is to be applied, even food delivery platforms, and especially gaming platforms provide an option of chatting with other gamers. Should they also be considered a social media intermediary then? The answer is no,” a senior government official was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

New IT rules don’t apply to iMessage

Apple’s iMessage, which the government believed to have had more than 25 million active users in India, has less than 5 million users in the country. This is another reason why iMessage is out of the purview of the new IT rules.

The government’s new IT rules require compliance from “social media intermediary, which is defined as any platform which “primarily or solely” allows and enables online interaction ‘between two or more users’, while also permitting these users to “create, upload, share, disseminate, modify or access information using its services.” As per that law, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram,

The government’s new IT rules require compliance from “social media intermediary, which is defined as any platform which “primarily or solely” allows and enables online interaction ‘between two or more users’, while also permitting these users to “create, upload, share, disseminate, modify or access information using its services.” As per that law, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Telegram, Signal, and LinkedIn are all social media intermediaries operating in India that must follow the law of the land.  ReadMore

Source : ibtimes

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