Rajeev Chandrasekhar
Rajeev ChandrasekharTwitter

As Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven deepfakes continue to alarm lawmakers around the world, the Indian government has stressed it has a zero tolerance policy towards any online information which is patently false, misinformation and against national security.

Responding to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued advisories to significant social media intermediaries or platforms, that they should ensure that their rules and regulations and the user agreement contain appropriate provisions for the users not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, store, update or share any information prohibited under IT Rules.

"They are advised to ensure expeditious action, well within the timeframes stipulated under the IT Rules, 2021, to remove or disable access to information/content that violates the aforesaid provisions of the IT Rules, 2021, upon receipt of court orders or notification from the appropriate government or its authorised agency or on complaint made by the impersonated individual or person authorised by him in this behalf," the Minister explained.

Deepfake videosIANS

The IT Ministry is in the process of issuing advisories to social media intermediaries on ensuring 100 per cent compliance on tackling deepfakes and spread of misinformation on their respective platforms.

Chandrasekhar said that in case of failure to follow diligence as provided in the IT Rules, 2021 by social media intermediaries, "They shall lose their safe harbour protection under Section 79 of the IT Act and shall be liable for consequential action as provided in IT Act, 2000, IT Rules, 2021, Indian Penal Code, 1860 and other applicable laws, as per the rule 7 of the IT Rules, 2021".

"The Government has also established Grievance Appellate Committees under the IT Rules, 2021 to allow users and victims to appeal online on www.gac.gov.in against decisions taken by the Grievance Officers of intermediaries in case they are dissatisfied with the decision of the Grievance Officer," the Minister informed.

India is mulling regulation to tame the spread of deepfakes and other user harm that AI can bring along. "The policies of the government are aimed at ensuring an open, safe and trusted and accountable Internet for its users. The government is cognisant of the benefits as well as risks associated with new and evolving technologies including AI which has immense potential to revolutionise various fields, but it also poses certain challenges and risks. The same technology of the AI may generate misinformation through deepfakes," he added.