07:47 GMT +315 November 2019
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    India Favours Tough Laws on Social Media, Citing National Security Concerns

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): The Indian government is set to devise policies to regulate social media, citing the threat to individual privacy rights and the nation’s security.

    A day after the Indian government told the country's top court that "Internet has emerged as a potent tool to cause unimaginable disruption to democratic polity," and it will revise and notify the rules on internet regulation, the country's Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said no social media company is secure enough to claim that it's immune to misuse by "terrorists".

    He added the aim is not to infringe on the people's right to privacy but to protect national security.

    The Government has informed the top court that it will formulate the new intermediary guidelines before the next hearing. As per the affidavit filed by the Centre, it has sought three months to finalise the new rules.

    The Supreme Court is set to hear all cases related to social media by the end of January.

    The Supreme Court has also taken over all pending cases, that demand or request that decrypted data in social media profiles be shared. There were pending cases under high courts of various State governments in India.

    Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Tuesday, appearing for the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, argued: "They (WhatsApp and Facebook) can't come into the country, establish a system which is subject to decryption and then say it can't be done, that they can't facilitate decryption-this is a penal offence, a very serious one."

    Similarly, the Internet Service provider, World Phone Internet Services, had told the Delhi High Court that "unregulated functioning of the social media platforms Facebook and WhatsApp poses a threat to national security".

    A response has been sought from the social media platforms on why they should not be subjected to licencing fees and security considerations like other internet service providers.

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