In recent months government told Twitter to block some accounts and they took action against some accounts too but most of the request was denied by Twitter as according to the “mini-blog giant” there was nothing wrong with those accounts and they were just sharing some content which was opposing the ruling party but wasn’t violating any of its terms.
The recent hype was created regarding the ban on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and OTT platforms including Prime Video, Netflix, and others.
So will these companies accept the terms and if they do, what are the consequences of it and what should you do about it?
A few months ago the government passed an official gazette in which there are a lot of terms regarding regulation of these platforms in the country.
There are both some positive and negative points which are to be seen in this. Speaking about the positive points the government has clarified that any OTT platform which would like to present a show or a movie on its platform must do self-classification that if the content in the video is Universal, is suitable for the audience above what age or is there any adult content available in it.
These OTT platforms should also agree to the terms that no productions of it will show a bad image of the country or will try to ruin the country’s relation with the foreign economies in any manner. Also, the Government has stated that the content available on the OTT platforms shouldn’t by any means encourage violence in society. These terms are very appreciative and essential to be there.
Looking at the negative side, the government also mentioned that the social media platforms would have to provide it with all the records of the people from where the “forwarded” message has originated.
This type of information isn’t possible to give from the end of messaging apps that protect the privacy of the users like Telegram, Signal, and WhatsApp as all the messages sent and received through these apps are end to end encrypted making them the most trusted apps in the industry.
But as per these new terms proposed by the government of India if any of the giants like Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp cannot help the government with this information then like other big successful apps like Tik Tok and PUBG all these social media apps might also get banned.
Also, the term “Public Order” of which the exact meaning isn’t stated is used by the government. This might harm the Democratic ‘ right to privacy of the individuals as the government can tell any social media platform to delete any content from their site regarding the term “Against Public Order.”
So the question remains the same: what should we do if these companies accept these terms to remain in the Indian market? Well, first we just hope that the government doesn’t take any such actions which will indirectly harm the right to speech and right to privacy of the individuals.
But the least we can do is maintain our privacy with the help of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPN can access the websites and content that is banned in your region or country.
This will help you in case if any company wants to find out from where the forwarding message originated as it provides protection from tracking through the IP address.
Another problem which might happen is if WhatsApp removes its end to end encrypted feature which will cause a great threat to the privacy of the messages sent and received on the messaging app.
For getting protected with this you can choose an international sim card which in most cases wouldn’t be possible for all may be because of the pandemic or as in most cases people don’t have any work to visit a country abroad.
So, in that case, the most effective way to solve this problem is a VoIP i.e. Voice over Internet Protocol which will help you break the contact with your number and your WhatsApp Identity.
Rest we shall hope for the best and that the supreme court declares these terms as void so there will be no harm to the privacy and democracy of the country.