Govt proposes to bring messaging apps under telecom licence | Fusion - WeRIndia

Govt proposes to bring messaging apps under telecom licence

Govt proposes to bring messaging apps under telecom licence

The Central government decided to bring internet calling and messaging applications like WhatsApp, Zoom, Google Duo etc., under the ambit of telecom licence. In this context, the government proposed changes in the rules related to telecommunications.

It uploaded a new draft bill, the Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022. After the approval from the members of Parliament, the law will replace the Telegraph Act of 1885. The new draft bill grants powers to the government to shut down the internet or intercept communications, like messages.

The new law mandates licences for internet calling and social media messaging applications to operate in India. The draft bill also included OTT under telecommunication service. Any service provider that offers telecommunication services and telecommunication networks should obtain a licence to operate in the country.

The government sought the opinion and feedback of the stakeholders on the draft bill. They can share their views before October 20. Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw shared the link of the draft bill on social media for public comments.

The bill has a provision to waive fees and penalties of telecom and internet service providers. If a telecom or internet service provider surrenders his licence, he can get a refund of the fees.

The draft says that the government has the right to waive fees in part or full for any licence holder in the interest of consumers.

The fees include entry fees, registration fees, licence fees or any other fees. The government can also waive any charges or penalties for any registered entity under the telecom rules.

The bill also proposed to exempt press messages intended to be published in India by correspondents accredited to the central or state government.

But, the exemption will not be granted in certain situations like a public emergency or the interest of National integrity. The draft bill also proposed to intercept or detain such messages.

Image by mohamed hassan from Pxhere (Free for commercial use / CC0 Public Domain)l

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