NEW DELHI — India’s government has proposed giving itself vast new powers to suppress internet content, igniting a heated battle with global technology giants and prompting comparisons to censorship in China. Under the proposed rules, Indian officials could demand that Facebook, Google, Twitter, TikTok and others remove posts or videos that they deem libelous, invasive of privacy, hateful or deceptive. Internet companies would also have to build automated screening tools to block Indians from seeing “unlawful information or content.” Another provision would weaken the privacy protections of messaging services like WhatsApp so that the authorities could trace messages back to their original senders. The new rules could be imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government anytime after the public comment period ends on Thursday night. The administration has been eager to get them in place before the date is set for this spring’s national elections, which will prompt special pre-election rules limiting new policies. Civil liberties groups and other critics said the changes would violate constitutional protections for free speech and privacy and put India in the same league as autocratic countries like China and Russia. Some of them suggested that the Modi administration was rushing to adopt the regulations… Read full this story
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