India internet law adds to fears over online speech, privacy


              A woman looks at the Twitter page of pop star Rihanna in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 15, 2021. It began in February with a tweet by Rihanna that sparked widespread condemnation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of massive farmer protests near the capital, souring an already troubled relationship between the government and Twitter. Moving to contain the backlash, officials hit Twitter with multiple injunctions to block hundreds of tweets critical of the government. In the same month, the Indian government announced the new rules, in the works for years, that apply to social media companies, streaming platforms and digital news publishers. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
            
              FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, file photo, a protesting farmer rests on his tractor trailer blocking a highway with other farmers at the Delhi- Haryana border, on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. Relations between Twitter and Modi's government have gone downhill ever since a tweet by pop star Rihanna in February sparked widespread condemnation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of massive farmer protests near the capital. At the heart of the standoff is a sweeping internet law that puts digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook under direct government oversight. Critics of the law worry it may lead to outright censorship in a country where digital freedoms have been shrinking since Modi took office in 2014. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)
            
              FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2015, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, hugs Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at Facebook in Menlo Park, Calif. Officials say a sweeping internet law, announced in February, that puts digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook under direct government oversight are needed to quell misinformation and hate speech and to give users more power to flag objectionable content. Critics of the law worry it may lead to outright censorship in a country where digital freedoms have been shrinking since Modi took office in 2014, many calling it “digital authoritarianism." Facebook’s WhatsApp, which has more than 500 million users in India, has sued the government, saying breaking encryption, which continues for now, would “severely undermine the privacy of billions of people who communicate digitally.” (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
            
              FILE - In this Aug. 28, 2014 file photo, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at the launch of a campaign aimed at opening millions of bank accounts for poor Indians in New Delhi, India.  India's new social media regulations is at the heart of a standoff that puts digital platforms like Twitter and Facebook under direct government oversight. The new rules, in the works for years and announced in February 2021, apply to social media companies, streaming platforms and digital news publishers. The new rules make it easier for the government to order social media platforms with over 5 million users to take down content that is deemed unlawful. Critics say Modi’s Hindu nationalist government is imposing what they call a climate of “digital authoritarianism." (AP Photo/Saurabh Das, File)
            
              FILE - In this Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, file photo, India's Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, left, and Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar address a press conference announcing new regulations for social media companies and digital streaming websites in New Delhi, India. It began in February with a tweet by pop star Rihanna that sparked widespread condemnation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's handling of massive farmer protests near the capital, souring an already troubled relationship between the government and Twitter. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup, File)