According to the petition, the ministry has been ‘increasingly’ issuing orders to Twitter to block entire accounts without sharing any specific information
Many of the URLs contain political and journalistic content, Twitter claimed
Earlier, this week Twitter moved to Karnataka High Court to overturn some of the content takedown orders
The Indian government directed the microblogging site Twitter to take down over 1,400 accounts and 175 tweets under Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, it has mentioned in its petition before Karnataka High Court.
According to the petition, the Ministry of Information and Technology has been ‘increasingly’ issuing orders to Twitter to block entire accounts without sharing any specific information on tweets that could be cited as the reason for blocking, Indian Express reported.
More importantly, many of the URLs contain political and journalistic content, Twitter noted in the petition. “Blocking of such information is a gross violation of the freedom of speech guaranteed to citizen-users of the platform,” it added.
Twitter has urged the court to set aside some of the blocking orders claiming that they ‘fall foul’ of the ‘narrowly tailored’ grounds of Section 69 (A) of the IT Act. It has even termed some of the blocking orders as ‘unconstitutional’.
“The blocking orders are challenged on the basis that they are procedurally and substantially non-compliant with Section 69A, are manifestly arbitrary, fail to provide the originators prior notice and are disproportionate in several cases,” the company said.
Earlier, this week Twitter moved to Karnataka High Court to overturn some of the content takedown orders. The development came soon after the ministry sent notice to Twitter alleging that the platform failed to comply with the IT Rules, 2021. The ministry also warned the platform to comply with the rules by July 4. It also added that if Twitter continues to fail with the orders it would lose the intermediary status.
It must be noted that Twitter has been publishing its monthly transparent report under the provisions of IT Rules 2021, which was notified last year. It banned over 46,000 accounts for violating its guidelines between April 26, 2022 and May 25, 2022. In addition, it took action against 1,621 URLs in the same period.