‘Anonymity not a fundamental right’, says Centre in Twitter case
The Government of India has told the Karnataka High Court that Twitter “deliberately” remained non-compliant and defiant to the laws of the land and that the US-based social media firm has no role to play in the security of the country. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in a 101-page affidavit detailed the ‘no-law abiding tendency’ of Twitter in India on Thursday while opposing the micro-blogging platform’s petition before the High Court against the government’s takedown and blocking orders.
On the claims by Twitter that political tweets were asked to be taken down, the Centre stated that it had only asked for unverified accounts to be blocked. “The petitioner deliberately remained non-compliant and defiant to the laws of the land. Only on the diligent follow up of the respondent No.2 (Centre) and upon the issuance of show cause notice dated 27.06.2022 the petitioner for reasons best known to it suddenly complied with all the blocking directions,” the Ministry said while seeking dismissal of Twitter’s petition. Twitter has challenged blocking orders for 39 URLs. The hearing in the case is slated to be held on September 8.
In its petition, Twitter claimed that freedom of speech is affected by the takedown notices of the government. The originators of the content on its platform were not issued notices before their content was asked to be taken down, it said. However, the government in its objections said that since Twitter was the intermediary, it was the microblogging site’s responsibility to inform the users.
The objections also called for the dismissal of the petition on the ground that Twitter is not entitled to seek relief as it is not a citizen of India. “Article 21 rights are not available to artificial juristic entities, much less, to any foreign commercial entity. The present petition even if it attempts to allege breach of Article 21 rights, is, therefore, not maintainable at the instance of the petitioner foreign company.”
The Indian government said it is its responsibility to protect over 84 crore Indians using the internet from anti-India propaganda, fake news, and hate speech content. “These contents have the potential to jeopardize the peace in the country. Thus, it becomes essential to detect and block such misinformation content and fake news at the initial stage itself to prevent a public order catastrophe like situation in the country,” said the government, demanding the dismissal of the petition by the US company Twitter.
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- Muslim, Christian & Jain leaders write to the Chief Justice of India & President; opposing same-sex marriage petitions - March 30, 2023
- 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks accused Tahawwur Rana moves US court for status conference - March 30, 2023
- ED raids fintech involved in illegal online betting; freezes over Rs.3 crore bank deposits - March 28, 2023