According to Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the government is reconsidering the safe harbour clause for internet intermediaries under the upcoming Digital India Bill to replace the two-decades-old Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
The safe harbour provision under Section 79 of the IT Act gives internet platforms legal immunity against content shared by users on the platforms. Intermediaries include not just social media companies but also telecom service providers, web-hosting service providers and search engines.
Speaking at the public consultation meeting held on March 9, 2023, on the basic guiding principles and architecture of the upcoming Digital India Bill, Chandrasekhar said that the whole logic of safe harbour was that internet platforms have absolutely no power or control over the content that some other consumer creates on the platform. But in this day and age, the clause may not be required.