No country in the world can deny the importance of social media in today’s technology era. Being an developing state like India, or the world’s most influential states like America and Europe, the contribution of social media to social and economic development cannot be denied by any of these nations. After all, whether it is business or education, entertainment or healthcare, the role of social media is incomparable in every field!
But the other side of the coin is also that the increasing importance and influence of these websites has made them the main target of cyber criminals who are rapidly spreading false news and child sexual abuse material through these websites. Concerned about this growing law and order crisis on the Internet, the Government of India recently enacted the Information Technology Rules, 2021. Similarly, the US and the European Union have also made many changes in the Internet regulation law in view of cyber security. But a serious question is that despite the noble intentions of the governments, how effective will these changes prove to be in reality and what will be their impact on the fundamental rights of the people?
Safe Harbor: The Unique Instrument to Effective Social Media Regulation and a Free Internet
To understand the laws of Internet governance, it is necessary to understand the importance of ‘Safe Harbor’. According to this principle, the social media company cannot be held legally responsible for any illegal or banned content posted by any Internet user on Facebook, Snapchat, Google, etc. Have not been conveyed. This principle has an important role in creating a free and inclusive Internet system and ensuring freedom of expression. But in view of the increasing cyber security threat, the extent of this principle is decreasing in the new Acts being made from India to America, which is a matter of concern.
It is impossible to ensure online security by compromising on fundamental rights. Therefore, it is important that we go through our policies with the help of experts and implement them only when we are absolutely sure about their technical and legal feasibility.