Twitter has not designated nodal contact person, matter is sub-judice: MoS IT

New Delhi: Twitter appointed a chief compliance officer and a resident grievance officer as a contingent arrangement, but has not designated a nodal contact person, Parliament was informed on Thursday. On May 26, 2021 (the day when new rules for social media were enforced), Twitter was non-compliant as it failed to appoint a chief compliance officer, a nodal contact person and a resident grievance officer as mandated in the norms, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

“Subsequently, they appointed a chief compliance officer and a resident grievance officer as a contingent arrangement. Twitter has also not designated a nodal contact person and the matter is sub-judice,” he added.

Social media platforms like Twitter are intermediaries as defined in the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000. In order to ensure accountability of social media platforms to users and enhanced user safety, the government has notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which came into effect from May 26, 2021, the minister said.

He added that in case of non-compliance, the intermediaries are liable to lose their exemption under Section 79 of the IT Act, 2000. Chandrasekhar said ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are state subjects, and complaints reported against Twitter are dealt by the respective law enforcement authorities of states/ Union territories. “MeitY is not involved in filing of any FIR against Twitter,” he added.

Responding to a question on phishing attacks, Chandrasekhar said activities of fraudulent e-mails, SMSs, phishing websites and campaigns through WhatsApp “pretending to be from legitimate services ” lure users to divulge credentials to conduct financial frauds. “As per the information reported to and tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a total of 454, 472, 280 and 138 phishing incidents were observed during the year 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 (up to June) respectively,” he added. 

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