Media platforms

Comparison of Bangladesh Proposed Rules for Social Media Platforms with Indian IT Rules 2021


Content removal orders

  • Who can issue content takedown orders: Intermediaries must remove illegal content if ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction or upon notice from BTRC or an authorized government agency.
  • On what grounds: Illegal information may be related to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of Bangladesh; state security; friendly relations with foreign states; public order; decency or morality; relationship to contempt of court; defamation; incitement to an offense relating to the foregoing, or any information prohibited by applicable law.
  • Chronology: Content must be removed within 72 hours of notice.
  • Emergency withdrawal requests: The Bangladesh government appeal also issues emergency content blocking and takedown orders for the content on the grounds referred to in Article 141A of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh before giving the intermediary the opportunity to be heard.

India IT Rules: India’s IT rules have the same provisions except that content must be removed within 36 hours (half time) of receipt of an order.

Grievance mechanism

  • Appointment of Resident Complaints Officer (RCO): Intermediaries must prominently post the contact details of the Resident Complaints Officer on their website or mobile application, or both.
  • Details for filing a complaint: Intermediaries must also provide a mechanism by which a person can lodge a complaint against the violation of the provisions of the Regulation.
  • Chronology: The RCO must acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 24 hours and decide on the complaint within 20 days.
  • Sensitive Content Complaints: If an individual or someone on their behalf files a complaint about material that shows the individual in partial or full nudity or shows or depicts that individual in any sexual act or behavior or has artificially altered images of that individual, the intermediary must take all reasonable and practicable steps to remove or disable access to content within 72 hours of receiving a complaint.
  • Recognize court and government orders: The RCO receives and acknowledges receipt of any order, notice or direction issued by the government or the court.
  • Disclosure of Complaints: Intermediaries must disclose all complaints received and actions taken on them in a timely manner. The rules do not provide for a specific period.

India IT Rules: India’s rules refer to the RCO as the resident grievance officer and only allow him 15 days to deal with the complaint, compared to 20 days in the Bangladesh version. The intermediary also only has 24 hours to remove sensitive content. Indian rules also require major social media intermediaries to publish periodic compliance reports every month.

Appoint key leadership positions

  • Appoint a Compliance Officer: The Compliance Officer is responsible for ensuring compliance with the rules and engages his responsibility in any procedure in the event of the intermediary’s failure to carry out his due diligence. The intermediary will, however, have the opportunity to be heard before any liability is imposed. The compliance officer must be a senior employee of the intermediary residing in Bangladesh
  • Appoint an agent 24/7: The officer will be responsible for coordinating with law enforcement agencies and the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (Digital Security Cell) to ensure compliance with their orders or requisitions. The agent must be an employee other than the compliance officer, who resides in Bangladesh.

India IT Rules: While India’s rules also require the appointment of a compliance officer and a 24/7 nodal contact person, these requirements only apply to significant media intermediaries. social. Bangladesh regulations do not distinguish between social media intermediaries and significant social media intermediaries, therefore, these appointments are required for all intermediaries.

Rules relating to the retention of information

Bangladesh rules require intermediaries to retain information about content that has been removed due to users’ violation of terms of service, government or court order, or based on a grievance received for a period of 180 days. Information about a user must also be retained for 180 days after the user has canceled their registration.

India IT Rules: India has the same deadlines.

Cybersecurity Incident Management

  • All reasonable cybersecurity practices should be taken: The intermediary must take all reasonable steps to secure its computing resources and the information they contain by following reasonable security practices and procedures.
  • Reporting Cyber ​​Security Incidents to Government: The intermediary must report cyber security incidents and share related information with the IT System Incident Response Team of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC-CSIRT).
  • The government data request must be responded to within 72 hours: Intermediaries must provide government agencies legally authorized to conduct investigative or protective or cybersecurity activities with information in their possession within 72 hours of receiving an order provided that such order is in writing and clearly indicates the purpose seeking information or assistance.

India IT Rules: India’s rules require intermediaries to adopt reasonable security practices and procedures as prescribed in the Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Information) Rules 2011 and any incident of cyber security should be reported to India’s Computer Emergency Response Team. The provision on sharing data with government agencies is the same in both countries.

Physical contact address in the country

Bangladesh regulations require social media intermediaries serving the country to have a physical contact address in Bangladesh published on its website or app.

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India IT Rules: As above.

What provisions are missing from the rules proposed by Bangladesh?

Some relevant definitions for social media platforms: IT Rules of India defines access control mechanism, access services, child, grievance, user, user account but there are no definitions for the same thing in the Bangladeshi version.

User Verification: India’s IT rules require social media intermediaries to allow users to voluntarily verify their accounts using any appropriate mechanism, including an Indian mobile phone number. Intermediaries must provide the user with a demonstrable and visible verification mark, visible to all users of the service.

Violation of the rules: If an intermediary has failed to comply with the IT rules, they will be denied the safe harbor provisions of subsection (1) of Article 79, which will incur liability for content posted on their platform .

User rights: If a major social media intermediary removes or disables access to any content, it must provide the user with a notification explaining the action taken and the reasons for that action. The user must have an adequate and reasonable opportunity to challenge the action taken and to request the reinstatement of the content.

Claims follow-up: IT rules require that major social media intermediaries implement an appropriate mechanism to track complaints received through the grievance mechanism.

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Advertising disclosures: Significant social media intermediaries displaying content that provides a direct financial benefit to the person sharing the content must mark the content as advertised, marketed, sponsored, owned or controlled exclusively, as appropriate.

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