Content management: On Aadhaar-social media linkage


Content management: On Aadhaar-social media linkage

Courts must let government work out a balanced regulatory regime for online content
The submissions(प्रस्तुतियाँ) in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government in support of linking social media profiles of registered users with their Aadhaar numbers are not well-founded(साबित/साबित) in the law as it now stands. It is noteworthy(ध्यान देने योग्य ) that a Division Bench of the Madras High Court, which is hearing two writ petitions(याचिकाएँ) on this matter(मामले ), did not see merit in the idea. The Bench had during(दौरान) the hearings(सुनवाई ) observed(देखे गए ) that following the Supreme Court’s decision in the Aadhaar case, the unique 12-digit-number can be used only for subsidies and welfare(कल्याण) benefits(लाभ); and pointed out that Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act has been “struck down(मारा गया) to the extent(क्षेत्र) that it authorised(अधिकृत ) body corporate and individuals(व्यक्तियों) to use the number to establish(स्थापित करना) someone’s identity(पहचान ). The petitioners(याचिकाकर्ताओं ) had approached(संपर्क किया ) the High Court with such a prayer on the ground that many people got away with inflammatory(भड़काऊ ) posts on social media because of the lack(कमी) of traceability(पता लगाने की क्षमता।). However, the Bench has since then expanded the writ petitions’ scope(क्षेत्र/विस्तार) to examine(जांच ) the adequacy(पर्याप्तता ) of the legal framework on cybercrimes and the responsibilities(जिम्मेदारियां) of intermediaries(बिचौलियों ) who provide telecommunication and online services. The State government is batting for better(बेहतर ) assistance(सहायता) from intermediaries and social media companies to trace offending (अपमानजनक )messages. As two other High Courts are also hearing similar matters, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter have sought a transfer of all these cases to the apex court so that there are no conflicting(विवादग्रस्त/परस्पर विरोधी) judgments.

While the Supreme Court will decide the question of transferring these cases to itself, the Madras High Court will continue its hearing. A word of caution(चेतावनी/सतर्कता). The Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology notified new draft rules for intermediaries last year and called for public comments. The proposed(प्रस्तावित ) rules envisage(परिकल्पना ) new obligations(दायित्वों/कर्तव्य) for service providers. One of the changes proposed is that intermediaries should help identify originators of offensive(आपत्तिजनक ) content. This has created some understandable misgivings at a time when there is widespread suspicion about online surveillance. Technology companies that use end-to-end encryption have pleaded(जताई/निवेदन करना) inability(असमर्थता ) to open a back door for “identifying originators”(मूल की पहचान करना।). The issue concerns(चिंताओं) the global policy of these companies as well as the wider public interest of millions of registered users. After the K.S. Puttaswamy decision (2017) in the ‘privacy’ case, any state intervention(हस्तक्षेप) in the regulation of online content has to pass the test of proportionality(समानता) laid down by the court. It will be desirable(वांछित) if courts do not impart(थोपना) needless(बेवजह ) urgency to the process of introducing a balanced(संतुलित ) regulatory(नियामक) regime to curb(अंकुश) content that promotes undesirable(अवांछनीय) activities(गतिविधियाँ) such as child pornography, sectarian(सांप्रदायिक ) conflict(झगड़ा) and mob(भीड़ ) violence(हिंसा), without affecting(प्रभावित ) individual privacy. The balance must be right between protecting privacy and allowing the state leeway(स्वतंत्रता/छूट/मार्) to curb(नियंत्रण) crime(अपराध).

Important Vocabulary

1. Assistance(सहायता)
Synonyms: aid, backing, benefit, compensation, cooperation
Antonyms: blockage, damage, handicap, harm, hindrance

2. Curb(नियंत्रण
Synonyms: barrier, ledge, rein, restraint, restriction
Antonyms: freedom, center, encouragement, inside, interior

3. Conflicting(विवादग्रस्त/परस्पर विरोधी
Synonyms: adverse, antagonistic, clashing, contrary, incompatible
Antonyms: consonant, harmonious, agreeable, nonconflicting, peaceful

4. Caution(चेतावनी/सतर्कता)
Synonyms: attention, care, discretion, foresight, prudence
Antonyms: carelessness,, disregard, ignorance, indiscretion, neglect

5. Desirable(वांछित/मोहक)
Synonyms: beautiful, enticing, fascinating, adorable, alluring
Antonyms: repulsive, bad, detrimental, disadvantageous, disagreeable

6. Examine(जांच
Synonyms: audit, check, check out, consider, criticize
Antonyms: approve, forget, ignore, neglect, praise

7. Envisage(परिकल्पना )
Synonyms: confront, consider, image, picture, regard
Antonyms: disregard, ignore

8. Inability(असमर्थता )
Synonyms: failure, impotence, incompetence, inefficiency, ineptitude
Antonyms: strong point, success, ability, sufficiency, capacity

9. Impart(थोपना)
Synonyms: communicate, convey, pass on, transmit, admit
Antonyms: keep, withhold, conceal, cover, hide

10. Intermediaries(बिचौलियों )
Synonyms: broker, emissary, go-between, mediator, negotiator
Antonyms: end

11. Offending (अपमानजनक
Synonyms: aggrieve, anger, annoy, antagonize, disgust
Antonyms: aid, assist, assuage, calm, comfort

12. Pleaded(निवेदन करना
Synonyms: appeal, ask, petition, pray, solicit
Antonyms: refuse, answer, decide, punish, reply

13. Petitioners(याचिकाकर्ताओं )
Synonyms: claimant, appellant, aspirant, candidate, hopeful

14. Submissions(प्रस्तुतियाँ)
Synonyms: capitulation, resignation, acquiescence, appeasement, assent
Antonyms:disagreement, disobedience, rebellion, fight, resistance

15. Tractability (पता लगाने की क्षमता।).
Synonyms: accordance, acquiescence, agreement, amenability, amenablene
Antonyms: disagreement, disdain, dishonor, disobedience, disregard

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