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New IT Act may bring in deliberate misinformation, doxxing as offences

The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) may bring regulation of “deliberate” misinformation and doxxing as offences under new legislation. According to a report in the Indian Express this new regulation is likely to replace the Information Technology Act, 2000. The new legislation is being referred to as the Digital India Act for now.

The report said that the law may have provisions for net neutrality, data privacy, and algorithmic accountability of social media platforms. It will focus on ‘user harms’ specific to the online world.

“The Indian Penal Code (IPC) looks at misinformation from the lens of defamation. Beyond that, there is no adjudication on deliberate attempts at misinformation and the ministry is having a discussion to include it as an offence under the new Act, the official said told Indian Express. “Deliberate online misinformation has to be separated from defamation, which is a very different kind of an offence”

The report in IE also mentioned that the IT Ministry is mulling over adding doxxing as an offence under the new Act. Doxxing is when someone publishes or attempts to publish private or private or identifying information about individuals on the internet. The intent of the act is generally malicious.

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