Twitter, the micro-blogging site with 18 million subscribers in India, on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it had appointed a resident of India as its interim compliance officer from June 6, meeting one of the main conditions stipulated in the new IT law.
Twitter has been engaged in a protracted spat with the government over compliance with new IT laws. The past few months have seen accounts of ministers and RSS leaders being suspended and police teams visiting Twitter offices.
Here’s a look at key points in the showdown:
- On February 25, the government had announced new IT rules asking big tech companies, among other things, to appoint a chief compliance officer from India, who can address the issues raised by the government. They were also asked to hire a nodal officer to coordinate with the law enforcement authorities. They were given three months to comply.
- Micro-blogging site Twitter said the new rules had elements that could inhibit free speech.
- Twitter said it planned to “advocate for changes to elements of these regulations that inhibit free, open public conversation”.
- The government responded by saying that the platform would have to follow the rules as they were the result of wide consultations with all stakeholders.
- On May 25, a Delhi police team arrived at Twitter’s offices in New Delhi and Gurugram to serve notices in the Toolkit case, related to the farmers’ agitation.
- After several rounds of back-and-forth with the government, Twitter finally appointed an interim grievance officer, Dharmendra Chatur.
- Twitter removed the blue tick from the personal accounts of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat as well as a number of other leaders from the organisation.
- On June 26, Twitter temporarily blocked the account of then IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, over a tweet posted by him three and a half years ago.
- A spokesperson for Twitter said the action followed a notice of violation of US copyright law by the Minister’s account.
- On June 27, Chatur quit, leaving the post vacant.
- On July 6, Delhi High Court directed the US-based social media giant to inform it by July 8 as to when it will appoint a resident grievance officer in compliance with the new IT Rules.
- On July 8, Twitter told the court that it has appointed a resident of India as its interim Chief Compliance Officer effective July 6, adding that it has engaged the services of the Interim Chief Compliance Officer as a contingent worker via a third-party contractor and has also addressed a communication to MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology).