Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar announced that the central government is going to nominate a Rule Seven officer to take action against the dissemination of deepfake, and that SM platforms have agreed to align their policies in 7 days

In response to growing concerns and public outcry surrounding a series of deepfake videos circulating on social media, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar announced today that the Central government plans to appoint an official to tackle the issue.

Following discussions with representatives from social media companies, the minister revealed that a designated Rule Seven officer would be tasked with taking action against the dissemination of deepfake content.

Said Minister Chandrasekhar, “Today we had a very longish meeting with all of the important players on the Internet, the Internet intermediaries. And we have raised the issue of deepfakes with them. I reminded them that way back from October 2022, the government of India has been alerting them to the threat of misinformation and deepfakes, which are part of misinformation.”

He added, “The intermediaries today all agreed that the current IT rules under the IT Act provide for adequate compliance requirements on their part to deal with Deep Fake, even as we speak to future regulations and a future law, which is certainly required, given that our IT Act is 23 years old. It was emphasized to them again, to which they have agreed that the current law and the current act and the current rules provide for compliance requirements by the platforms on misinformation, patently false information and Deep Fakes. This has been agreed to by the platforms.”

Chandrasekhar emphasized that social media platforms have been given a seven-day deadline to align their terms of use with the existing IT rules. Additionally, he stated that the government would provide assistance to citizens in filing First Information Reports (FIR) against social media companies.

He added, “As far as harms are concerned, that includes Deep Fakes and also includes CSAM (Child Sexual Abuse Material) also includes various other categories of content that are prohibited on the Indian Internet”

Underlining the seriousness of the matter, the minister explained that FIRs would be registered against intermediaries. If these intermediaries disclose the origin details of the content, legal action would then be taken against the entities responsible for posting the deepfake material.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued an advisory to social media platforms, highlighting the legal provisions and potential penalties associated with the creation and dissemination of deepfakes. Chandrasekhar asserted that online platforms have a “legal obligation” to promptly remove misinformation within 36 hours of reporting and to disable access to such content, as stipulated by the IT Rules 2021.

The minister concluded by reiterating the government’s commitment to ensuring the safety and trust of Indian citizens in the digital space. Notably, the Central government has declared that the creation and circulation of deepfakes could result in a significant penalty, including a fine of ₹1 lakh and a potential three-year jail term.

(With input from agencies)

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