Free Media and Rights of Citizens with Special Reference to Online Free Speech and Indian Laws

In these present days, when information technology and electronic communication are fast changing the style and nature of social life, it is a legal priority to have an overview and analysis of existing provisions that guarantee the right to freedom of media people including newborn social media, and reasonable restrictions on that ring in the interest of individual rights and public interest. It is more so because media as such do not enjoy any exclusive right to expression in contrast with the rights of an ordinary citizen of India. Media have their share of right to freedom of speech and expression quite the same way and in an equal degree as the Constitution of India confers on its common citizen. One of the first legislative measures in the field for regulating and governing the electronic world of the internet was brought by way of enactment of the Information Technology Act 2000. The Act recognized the legal status of electronic records for various purposes. It also provides for the penalization and punishment of several cyber crimes. Now the government of India has come up with a set of rules called The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 in the exercise of their power conferred by sub-section (1), clauses (z) and (zg) of the sub-section (2) of Section 87 of the Information Technology Act 2000. It covers Social Media and OTT (Over The Top) Platforms under its provisions of regulations. This paper examines the state of online free speech and Indian Laws.

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