Enough safeguards available under IT Act for content appearing on OTT platforms: Rathore

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has said that it doesn’t regulate over the top (OTT) services like Hotstar, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, however, there are enough safeguards available under the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 for content appearing on these platforms.

“MIB does not regulate paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet,” minister of state in the ministry of information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said in the Lok Sabha.

He further stated that there are enough safeguards available under the Information Technology Act, 2000 which is administered by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) for content appearing on paid streaming and video on demand services provided over the internet

MEITY, he said, is empowered to block information/websites/URLs under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

The Section 69A has provisions for blocking of Universal Resource Locators only in specific scenarios of (i) Defence of India (ii) Sovereignty and Integrity of India (iii) Security of State (iv) Foreign relations with foreign states (v) Public Order (vi) or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above.

Sections 67, 67A and 67B of the IT Act make publishing/ transmitting/hosting of pornographic content including child pornographic content a criminal offence.

“Law Enforcement agencies regularly monitor the web and social media and take appropriate action for blocking of such URLs whenever they notice hosting of objectionable contents as per provision of rules notified under Section 69A of Information Technology Act 2000,” Rathore noted.

While stating that there are no official figures available with the MIB the OTT subscriber base, he quoted a Frost and Sullivan report which pegged the OTT subscriber base at 70 million unique connected viewers of which 1.3 million are paid video subscribers.

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