The draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 retains its colonial roots

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications (MoC) has released for public consultation the draft of the Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022. According to the accompanying explanatory note, the Bill aims to create a comprehensive framework for the regulation of telecommunications in India. In doing so, it repeals the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, and The Telegraph Wire (Unlawful Protection) Act,1950. Comments on the draft from relevant stakeholders have been invited till October 20, 2022. The comments can be sent to [email protected].

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This makes zero sense. Almost every online platform nowadays have DM or instant messaging feature including this very one. Will this now require licences to be operable in India. How will it affect job hunting sites like indeed or Quikr jobs who have instant messaging features. Or game applications like steam client. Or art platforms like pinterest. These are not meant to be communication apps but definately have
interpersonal communication features.

The minister Ashwini vaishnaw yesterday repeatedly said that the regulation for such apps would be soft touch in nature. How is requiring a license soft touch. Are we missing something or the govt can exclude certain apps based to user base through later notified rules.