Amended Rules 2023 for Information Technology (IT)

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Amendment Regulations, 2023 [IT Rules, 2023] are a recent set of regulations put forth by the government.

You can read about the IT Rules 2023 and how they will affect the nation's right to free speech in this article.

IT Rules 2023:

  • In accordance with the new rules, a government "fact check unit" is now empowered to debunk untrue material about any activity conducted at the federal level.
  • The fact-checking team can examine news articles, opinions, and comments posted online concerning government agencies and officials and order web service providers to block them.
  • These rules also permit filtering by ISPs, file hosting businesses, and online social media platforms.

The IT Rules' constitutionality as of 2023:

  • Section 79 of the Information Technology Act of 2000 authorized the creation of the IT Rules, 2023.
  • In accordance with the Shreya Singhal decision of the Supreme Court, intermediaries can only take action if they have real information of an unlawful act from a court order or are informed of it by the relevant government.
  • The IT Rules, 2023 go beyond the limitations already in place and don't define what "fake, inaccurate, or misleading" information is.
  • The regulations' ambiguity gives the government an unconstitutional right to suppress speech.

Effect of IT Rules on Expression in 2023:

  • The IT Rules, 2023, do not specify the requirements for the "fact check unit," the definition of "fake or false or misleading information," or the hearing procedures.
  • Lack of security for the "fact check unit" gives the Union government arbitrary and discretionary power.
  • The current Press Information Bureau unit has come under fire for its incompetence, and the IT Regulations, 2023 don't offer any protections against such incompetence.
  • The Editors Guild, Digipub, and the Indian Newspaper Society have all voiced their opposition to the proposed changes.
  • It is troubling that there was no substantive consultation prior to the notification of the IT Regulations, 2023.
  • There has been opposition to the government's practice of annually modifying the IT Regulations to increase its authority.


  • The "truth check unit" of the central government is given Orwellian censorship powers by the IT Regulations, 2023.
  • The rules' ambiguity and lack of protections give the government an illegal right to restrict speech.
  • Concerns have been raised about the impact on free speech, and there has been opposition to the government's practice of rewriting the IT Regulations each year in order to increase its authority.
  • It is imperative to make sure that the IT Rules, 2023 are not applied in a way that suppresses dissent or violates fundamental rights.

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