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Twitter Sues Indian Govt. Over Arbitrary Blocking Orders

Twitter Sues Indian Govt. Over Arbitrary Blocking Orders

NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Twitter has moved the Karnataka High Court against the Indian government’s order to take down some content on its platform, on the grounds that the content blocking orders from the IT Ministry does not pass “the test of the grounds provided under Section 69A of the IT Act”, reliable sources said on July 5.

Twitter has alleged in its writ petition that multiple accounts and content included in the blocking orders are either “overbroad and arbitrary”, fail to provide notice to the “originators” of the content, and are “disproportionate” in several cases.

The social media platform alleged in the court petition that several blocking orders that were issued to Twitter only “cite” the grounds of Section 69A but fail to demonstrate how the content falls within those grounds or how the said content is “violative” of Section 69A, the sources added.

In a June letter, the IT Ministry had warned Twitter of strict action if it does not comply with some content takedown orders.

According to sources, Twitter has now sought judicial review of some of the content that forms a part of various blocking orders.

According to the writ petition, account-level blocking is a “principally disproportionate measure” and “violates rights of users under the constitution, especially when the reasons stated to block URLs and reasons stated to block an account lack specificity and merely cite grounds under Section 69A”.

Earlier this month, Delhi Police sent a notice to Twitter seeking details of the account that led to the arrest of fact-checking website Alt News’ co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

Twitter was also involved in a legal battle in the Delhi High Court last year with the Centre over not complying with the new IT Rules of 2021.

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