Twitter challenges India order to down content

Twitter which has more than 24 million users in India has mounted a legal challenge against government orders to take down content.

The social media giant has filed a petition with the high court in Karnataka state resisting “several” such orders.

Twitter was reacting to a letter from the government in June warning of “serious consequences” of non-compliance of such orders.

Hours after the petition was filed, federal minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar tweeted that all foreign Internet platforms had to comply with Indian laws.

Sources familiar with the matter said the government had warned Twitter in June, saying it was the company’s “last opportunity” to comply with a number of blocking orders.

They fall under India’s information technology law which allows the government to block online content that “threatens the security of the state” and public order among other things.

They said Twitter had chosen to go to court due to the “seriousness of the threats” as failure to comply with the law could lead to criminal proceedings.

The social media giant believes that the orders are “procedurally and substantially deficient” of the requirements of the law and many of them “demonstrate excessive use of power and are disproportionate,” sources said.

Last year in February, Twitter was told that it was “welcome to do business in India”, but it had to follow the laws of the country “irrespective of Twitter’s own rules and guidelines”.


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