Amendments to the Information Technology rules, 2021


    In News

    • The Ministry of Electronics and IT, notified amendments to the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

    Aim & Objective

    • To enforce greater due diligence by online gaming and social media intermediaries in respect of online games & fake or false misleading information related to Government business.

    What are the Amended Rules?

    • Verification of Online Games: Intermediaries have been obligated to not host, publish or share any online game that can harm users, and has not been verified by an self-regulatory body designated by the Central Government. Promotion and advertising such games has also been barred.
    • Safeguards ensured by the Self-regulatory body: It will have the authority to inquire and satisfy itself that the online game does not involve any risky outcome and the game complies with the rules and the framework regarding safeguards against user harm.
    • Games involving real money: Display of verification mark by the self-regulatory body on such games; informing their users of the policy for withdrawal or refund of deposit, manner of determination and distribution of winnings, fees and other charges payable; obtaining the KYC details of the users; and not giving credit or enabling financing by third parties to the users.
    • Structure of regulating authority: The Government may notify multiple self-regulatory bodies, which shall be representative of the online gaming industry but it will function at arm’s length from their members, and a Board consisting of Directors who are free from conflict of interest and represent all relevant stakeholders and experts.
    • Fake Information: Obligation on the intermediaries to not to publish, share or host fake, false or misleading information identified by the notified Fact Check Unit of the Central Government in respect of any business of the Central Government. 
    • Application of Rules: The rules provide for the obligations to become applicable once a sufficient number of self-regulatory bodies have been designated, so that the online gaming industry has adequate time to comply with its obligations.