Compliances by an Intermediary Under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

That the Ministry of Electronics and Info Know-how in the 12 months 2021 has notified…

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That the Ministry of Electronics and Info Know-how in the 12 months 2021 has notified the new Data Technology (Intermediary Rules and Digital Media Ethics Code) Principles, 20211 (“Intermediary Rules”) underneath Portion 87 of the Details Technologies Act, 2000 (“IT Act”) and in supersession of the Facts Engineering (Intermediaries Pointers) Procedures, 2011.

As for every Section 2(1)(w) of the IT Act, an “intermediary”, with regard to any particular electronic data, implies any individual who on behalf of an additional human being gets, shops or transmits that record or presents any assistance with regard to that document and contains telecom service suppliers, community service providers, internet assistance suppliers, world wide web-hosting assistance companies, research engines, on the net payment sites, on the internet-auction web sites,on-line-sector areas and cyber cafes. 

As per Rule 2(1)(w) of the Middleman Policies, a “social media intermediary” indicates an middleman which generally or exclusively permits online conversation among two or extra end users and enables them to build, upload, share, disseminate, modify or accessibility facts employing its services.

As for every the Middleman Guidelines, social media intermediary possessing range of registered buyers in India earlier mentioned this sort of threshold as notified by the Central Governing administration shall be thought of as sizeable social media middleman. That vide notification dated 25th February 2021, the Central Govt hereby specifies fifty lakh registered people in India as the threshold for a social media intermediary to be thought of a significant social media middleman2 .


Under Rule 3 of the Middleman Regulations, an Middleman is required to comply with the pursuing prerequisites which are binding on an middleman in India: 

1.1.Publish on its website, mobile dependent application or both equally, as the case may perhaps be,  

  • the principles and rules, 
  • privacy plan, and 
  • person agreement

for obtain or use of its computer system resource by any individual. 

1.2.The regulations and laws, privateness coverage or consumer settlement of the middleman shall advise the consumer of its pc resource 

  • not to host, screen, upload, modify, publish, transmit, retail store, update or share any information and facts that,—
  • belongs to another particular person and to which the person does not have any right 
  • is defamatory, obscene, pornographic, pedophilic, invasive of another‘s privateness, which includes bodily privateness, insulting or harassing on the foundation of gender, libellous, racially or ethnically objectionable, relating, or 
  • encouraging money laundering or gambling, or in any other case inconsistent with or opposite to the rules in force 
  • is dangerous to child 
  • infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights 
  • violates any regulation for the time being in force 
  • deceives or misleads the addressee about the origin of the concept or knowingly and deliberately communicates any data which is patently wrong or misleading in mother nature but could fairly be perceived as a point
  • impersonates one more person 
  • threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, helpful relations with overseas States, or community buy, or causes incitement to the fee of any cognisable offence or stops investigation of any offence or is insulting other nation 
  • incorporates computer software virus or any other computer system code, file or plan made to interrupt, destroy or restrict the performance of any computer resource 
  • is patently wrong and untrue, and is composed or posted in any kind, with the intent to mislead or harass a individual, entity or company for money attain or to induce any injury to any person

1.3.Shall periodically tell its buyers, at least the moment just about every yr, that in situation of non-compliance with rules and regulations, privateness coverage or user settlement for obtain or use of the computer system source of these intermediary, it has the ideal to terminate the obtain or usage legal rights of the people to the computer system useful resource quickly or take out non-compliant data or both, as the case might be.

1.4.An intermediary, on whose computer resource the information and facts is stored, hosted or posted, on obtaining precise know-how in the kind of an get by a court of qualified jurisdiction or on being notified by the Suitable Federal government or its company under clause (b) of sub-segment (3) of portion 79 of the Act, shall not 

  • host, keep or publish any unlawful information and facts,  
    • which is prohibited beneath any legislation for the time getting in pressure in relation to
      • the desire of the sovereignty and integrity of India 
      • stability of the State  pleasant relations with foreign States 
      • public order 
      • decency or morality 
      • contempt of court 
      • defamation 
      • incitement to an offence relating to the above, or 
      • any data which is prohibited less than any law for the time becoming in pressure, 


  • shall eliminate or disable accessibility to that facts, as early as feasible, but in no circumstance later than 30-6 hrs from the receipt of the court docket purchase or on getting notified by the Proper Authorities or its agency. 

1.5.Shall periodically, and at the very least when in a calendar year, notify its end users of its regulations and rules, privacy policy or person settlement or any alter in the principles and regulations, privateness policy or user settlement.

1.6.Any info which has been taken out or entry to which has been disabled, the intermediary shall, devoid of vitiating the evidence in any fashion, maintain such information and facts and connected records for a person hundred and eighty times for investigation purposes, or for these types of for a longer time interval as may be expected by the court or by Authorities organizations who are lawfully authorized.

1.7.In which an middleman collects data from a consumer for registration on the personal computer useful resource, it shall retain his data for a time period of a single hundred and eighty days following any cancellation or withdrawal of his registration.

1.8.The middleman shall, as shortly as feasible, but not later than seventy two several hours of the receipt of an get, offer data below its management or possession, or support to the Authorities company which is lawfully authorized for investigative or protective or cyber security pursuits, for the purposes of verification of id, or for the prevention,detection, investigation, or prosecution, of offences under any law for the time staying in drive, or for cyber safety incidents.

1.9.The middleman shall not knowingly deploy or set up or modify specialized configuration of pc useful resource or turn into celebration to any act that may possibly transform or has the probable to change the ordinary program of procedure of the computer useful resource than what it is intended to carry out thereby circumventing any legislation for the time becoming in force.

1.10. The middleman shall report cyber stability incidents and share associated facts with the Indian Computer Emergency Response Crew in accordance with the insurance policies and strategies as talked about in the Information Technologies (The Indian Pc Emergency Reaction Workforce and Way of Undertaking Capabilities and Responsibilities) Guidelines, 20133 . 

1.11. The middleman shall prominently publish on its site, mobile based mostly software or both of those, as the case could be, the identify of the Grievance Officer and his contact aspects as effectively as mechanism by which a consumer or a sufferer could make criticism versus violation of the provisions of this rule or any other matters pertaining to the laptop resources made offered by it, and the Grievance Officer shall 

(i) accept the criticism in twenty four hrs and dispose off this kind of grievance inside a interval of fifteen days from the day of its receipt

(ii) receive and acknowledge any purchase, notice or route issued by the Acceptable Government, any competent authority or a court docket of capable jurisdiction.

1.12. The intermediary shall, within just twenty-4 hours from the receipt of a grievance created by an unique or any person on his behalf, in relation to any material which is prima facie in the mother nature of any substance which exposes the private location of these particular person, shows these kinds of person in entire or partial nudity or reveals or depicts this sort of particular person in any sexual act or conduct, or is in the mother nature of impersonation in an electronic sort, which include artificially morphed photos of this sort of personal, just take all reasonable and practicable actions to take out or disable obtain to this kind of material which is hosted, saved, released or transmitted by it. The middleman shall employ a mechanism for the receipt of aforesaid problems which may help the personal or person to supply specifics, as may perhaps be needed, in relation to these kinds of content or communication hyperlink.


In scenario, an middleman qualifies as a social media middleman as for every the definition given less than the Middleman Rules and has more than 50 lakh people, then such intermediary has to comply with the additional compliances as delivered below Rule 4 of the Intermediary Procedures. 


In addition to the higher than compliances, an middleman in relation to information and recent affairs written content shall publish, on an acceptable area on its web-site, cell based software or the two, as the case might be, a clear and concise assertion informing publishers of information and latest affairs articles that in addition to the prevalent terms of provider for all customers, these types of publishers shall furnish the details of their person accounts on the services of such middleman to the Ministry about the information of its entity by furnishing facts alongside with this sort of documents as could be specified, for the function of enabling interaction and coordination within just a period of thirty days and shall publish periodic compliance report each thirty day period mentioning the aspects of grievances received and motion taken thereon. 


As per Rule 2(1)(i) of the Middleman Procedures “digital media‘ indicates digitized information that can be transmitted more than the world-wide-web or computer system networks and incorporates content material gained, saved, transmitted, edited or processed by- 

(i) an middleman or 

(ii) a publisher of news and current affairs content or a publisher of on the web curated content 

Below the element III of the Middleman Regulations, further policies have been framed exclusively for publishers of information and present-day affairs articles and publishers of on line curated material and these entities shall be administered by the Ministry of Facts and Broadcasting, Governing administration of India.


In which an middleman fails to notice these rules, the provisions of sub-part (1) of part 79 of the IT Act (safe harbour immunity for intermediary) shall not be applicable to these middleman and the intermediary shall be liable for punishment below any regulation for the time getting in force including the provisions of the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code, 1860.