Censorship

DoT starts publishing court orders for online censorship #WhatTheBlock

We wrote to the DoT to appreciate their proactiveness in publishing the blocking notifications under court orders and urged them to ensure that executive blocking orders are made publicly available.

Delhi HC orders MeitY to give copy of ban order and hearing to Mr Tanul Thakur for banning his website #WhatTheBlock

Tanul Thakur's satirical website dowrycalculator.com was blocked without giving him a copy of the blocking order or an opportunity to be heard. On 11th May 2022, the Delhi High Court Court directed MeitY to provide Tanul Thakur a copy of the blocking order and give him a post-decisional hearing.

Oxford Pro Bono Publico releases its report on the Regulation of Digital Media and Intermediaries

To assist challenges to IT Rules, w​e reached out to Oxford Pro Bono Publico (OPBP) - a research centre at the Oxford University, requesting research on laws in other countries on social media platforms, digital news media and OTT platforms. OPBP has published their research report in December 2021.

As the farmers’ protests saw widespread internet shutdowns, IFF wrote to the Haryana Home Ministry urging restraint

Between September 7 and 9, 2021, internet services were suspended in four districts of Haryana due to ongoing farmers’ protests. The order is not available on the Government websites and does not lay out a factual justification. We wrote to the Haryana government to officially publish all orders.

MeitY blocks information about Actor Sushant Singh’s account takedown

Twitter unilaterally and arbitrarily suspended the account of Sushant Singh (@sushant_says) twice, i.e. on February 1 and May 26, 2021. We helped him file RTI requests with the Meity, DoT and MHA. Meity invoked the 2009 Blocking Rules and the RTI Act to deny information to Mr. Singh.

Big Tech releases its transparency reports in compliance with the IT Rules: Here’s what we found

Google, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter have released their transparency reports in compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the Information Technology (Guidelines for Intermediaries and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (the 2021 IT Rules).

Spooked by the Zombie? Ministry of Home Affairs issues notification directing all S.66A cases to stop

Prompted by our application, the Ministry of Home Affairs, on July 14, 2021 issued a notification directing all law enforcement authorities to stop registering new cases under Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and to immediately withdraw all pending cases.

Was your handle blocked without warning? Here’s what you can do.

Incidents of arbitrary censorship of online speech have significantly risen in the recent past. We are frequently asked what can be done if one’s account is blocked. We have prepared a step by step explainer to navigate situations of arbitrary account blockings.

PUCL approaches Supreme Court seeking directions against continued prosecutions under the unconstitutional Section 66A

Supreme Court issues notice in PUCL's application seeking directions against continued enforcement of Section 66A. IFF provided legal assistance to PUCL.

Twitter must apply its own policies transparently and consistently when suspending users’ accounts

Twitter unilaterally and arbitrarily suspended the account of Sushant Singh (@sushant_says) twice. He sent a formal representation to Twitter highlighting issues with Twitter’s policies and actions, relating to transparency, free expression and consistency, and urged an open dialogue on its policy.