Centre for Internet & Society

Right to Exclusion, Government Spaces, and Speech

by Torsha Sarkar

The conclusion of the litigation surrounding Trump blocking its critiques on Twitter brings to forefront two less-discussed aspects of intermediary liability: a) if social media platforms could be compelled to ‘carry’ speech under any established legal principles, thereby limiting their right to exclude users or speech, and b) whether users have a constitutional right to access social media spaces of elected officials. This essay analyzes these issues under the American law, as well as draws parallel for India, in light of the ongoing litigation around the suspension of advocate Sanjay Hegde’s Twitter account.

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At the Heart of Crypto Investing, There is Tether. But Will its Promise Pan Out?

by Aman Nair

The $18.5 million fine levied by the New York attorney general’s office earlier this year to settle a legal dispute, raises more questions than answers.

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Submission to the Facebook Oversight Board in Case 2021-008-FB-FBR: Brazil, Health Misinformation and Lockdowns

by Tanvi Apte and Torsha Sarkar

In this note, we answer questions set out by the Board, pursuant to case 2021-008-FB-FBR, which concerned a post made by a Brazilian sub-national health official, and raised questions on health misinformation and enforcement of Facebook's community standards.

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Pandemic Technology takes its Toll on Data Privacy

by Aman Nair and Pallavi Bedi

The absence of any legal framework has meant these tools are now being used for purposes beyond managing the pandemic.

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On the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021

by Torsha Sarkar, Gurshabad Grover, Raghav Ahooja, Pallavi Bedi and Divyank Katira

This note examines the legality and constitutionality of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The analysis is consistent with previous work carried out by CIS on issues of intermediary liability and freedom of expression.

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Does Google’s bid to replace third party cookies with FLOCs protect user privacy?

by Maria Jawed

In its efforts to deprecate third-party cookies, Google, in August 2019, has brought an alternative plan with its new Privacy Sandbox platform. This plan promises to preserve anonymity when serving tailored advertising. While unveiling the system, Google explained that even though advertising is necessary to keep the web available to everyone, the web ecosystem is at risk if privacy policies do not keep pace with evolving expectations. But does this new framework help users in any way?

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Beyond Public Squares, Dumb Conduits, and Gatekeepers: The Need for a New Legal Metaphor for Social Media

by Amber Sinha

In the past few years, social networking sites have come to play a central role in intermediating the public’s access to and deliberation of information critical to a thriving democracy. In stark contrast to early utopian visions which imagined that the internet would create a more informed public, facilitate citizen-led engagement, and democratize media, what we see now is the growing association of social media platforms with political polarization and the entrenchment of racism, homophobia, and xenophobia.

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