New Delhi, March 31, 2023 – Broadband India Forum (BIF), an independent policy forum and knowledge-based think-tank released a BIF-commissioned study on “Revising the Information Technology Act 2000” which has been prepared by xKDR Forum, a research and knowledge-based forum as a part of BIF’s Digital Dialogues series. The study report aims at providing recommendations for the revision of certain key sections of the proposed new Digital India Act. The Key highlights of the report were presented at the session which was followed by a panel of esteemed experts deliberating on various vital aspects concerning the revision of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The Government of India is planning to replace the Information Technology Act, 2000 with the much-touted new legislation, Digital India Act, as part of a broader package of laws concerning the digital ecosystem. As we move towards a Digital India, it becomes imperative that the law promotes trust in the digital ecosystem. This requires careful balancing of multiple interests such as national security and public order, online safety, protection of fundamental rights, and promoting innovation.
In the released report, Rishab Bailey, Visiting Research Fellow, XKDR Forum highlighted how they have examined the proposed law in how it dealt with four focus areas – online censorship, intermediary liability, surveillance, and cyber security. An important takeaway was the need for improved institutional frameworks to be created – whether to deal with cyber security, establish processes for oversight of surveillance, or indeed, enable fairer content curation decisions and grievance redressal. This move is aimed at ensuring that India has a modern and comprehensive legal framework that is capable of addressing the challenges of the digital age.
The virtual session brought together experts from the Industry, Civil Society, and a Think Tank, to deliberate on the vital aspects of the Information Technology Act, of 2000, and to engage in discussion on various focal points of the proposed revised IT Act.
The Chief Guest, Dr. Rajat Kathuria, amplified that when a nation is racing towards becoming a $5 trillion economy in the coming years, the Digital Act should be able to provide a strong safeguarding framework and balance the interest of all concerned stakeholders.
Mr. TV Ramachandran, President, BIF, said “With over 850 million online users, India boasts of being the world’s largest digitally connected democracy. So, the need for a robust law provision to safeguard the evolving online landscape becomes a priority. We await the well-articulated evolvable digital law to replace the two-decade-old IT Act.”