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New IT rules: Delhi High Court to hear Facebook-Whatsapp’s petition in August

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The Delhi High Court on Friday said it will hear on August 27 a plea filed by Facebook and WhatsApp challenging the new IT rules for social media platforms. Under these rules, the app is required to trace the message and identify the source of the information. It has been challenged as a violation of the right to privacy and calling these rules unconstitutional.

Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh listed the matter for hearing on August 27. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the bench that he was in some trouble and requested for adjournment of the hearing. Thereafter, the bench listed these petitioners for August 27.

Senior advocates Harish Salve and Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for WhatsApp and Facebook, did not oppose his request. The new Information Technology Rules, 2021 were announced by the government on February 25 and required large social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to comply by May 25.

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WhatsApp has made the central government a party to the petition through the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, saying that trace of source is unconstitutional and against the fundamental right to privacy.

According to the data provided by the government, WhatsApp has 53 million users, YouTube 448 million, Facebook 41 million, Instagram 210 million and microblogging site Twitter 17.5 million users in India. The new rules are designed to make social media platforms more responsive to content.

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