IT Rules Amendment 2023
Amrita Tiwari – Research Associate, her interest lies in social dimensions of the digital ecosystem.
Transcript: Welcome to UnwiringTech, this podcast is a platform where we understand global digital issues. I’m your host, Amrita, and today, we’re going to unravel the intricacies of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 and the 2023 amendments. It can be hard to follow due to the technical language, we will try to take it through a simpler route.
Host: Let’s start by understanding the basics. In February 2021, the Central Government introduced the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, often referred to as the ‘2021 Rules.’ These rules were established under Section 87(2) of the Information Technology Act, 2000. Their main objective was to update and regulate the digital landscape in India, focusing on social media and online platforms.
Host: Think of these rules as guidelines aimed at making our online experiences safer and more reliable. They were specifically designed to empower ordinary users and hold Social Media Intermediaries (SMIs) and Significant Social Media Intermediaries (SSMIs) accountable for creating a secure online environment.
Host: Fast forward to 2023, and we’ve witnessed significant changes in these rules, thanks to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Rules, 2023, or simply the ‘2023 Amendment.’
Host: But here’s where it gets interesting – these rules now extend their reach to ‘Online Gaming Intermediaries.’ Yes, you heard it right, online gaming is now part of the regulatory framework. Although it was implemented months back, it is important to highlight it now as a GST of 23% on online gaming and others will be imposed by the government soon.
Host: Let’s delve into some key modifications brought about by the 2023 Amendment.
Host: One significant change is the introduction of the Fact Check Unit (FCU). This requires SMIs, SSMIs, and Online Gaming Intermediaries to inform their users not to host or share any information marked as fake or misleading by a fact-check unit of the Central Government.
Host: This fact-checking body, designated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has the authority to identify false or misleading information related to central government matters.
Host: Another game-changing addition is the classification of online gaming providers as ‘Online Gaming Intermediaries’ (OGIs).
Host: These are intermediaries that enable users to access online games. But, what’s interesting is that the rules distinguish between different types of online games.
Host: If an OGI (Online Gaming Intermediary) offers Permissible Online Real Money games, they face additional compliance requirements, including restrictions on offering financing, displaying registration marks, having a physical address in India, adhering to KYC norms, and appointing key personnel for coordination with law enforcement agencies.
Host: These changes aim to ensure transparency and safety within the rapidly growing online gaming sector.
CONCLUSION: So, there you have it – a glimpse into the IT Rules, 2021, and their 2023 Amendments. These rules aren’t just for the tech-savvy; they impact all of us who engage with digital media and online games. Stay informed and stay safe online. Thank you for joining us on the latest episode of #UnwiringTech