“Deeply concerned,” the Editors Guild asks the Center to get rid of a rule change to the IT Act.

The Editors Guild of India sent a letter to the Union Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology “expressing deep concerns about draught amendments to Information Technology Act 2021 rules.” These rules give the Press Information Bureau broad censorship powers to tell online intermediaries to take down content that is deemed “fake.” It has asked the ministry to get rid of that change.

In a letter sent to Union minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on January 24, the Guild says that the draught amendments were uploaded for consultation on January 17, 2023, and that the Guild wants to hear back by January 25, 2023.

The letter says that, according to PIB’s own website, the bureau is the point of contact for the Indian government to share information with the print and electronic media about government policies, programmes, initiatives, and successes. “It is clear, then, that PIB’s only job is to tell news organisations about government business. “This proposed amendment would give this agency a lot of power to regulate, which is clearly illegal and against the Constitution,” the Guild said.

The amendment goes even further by adding any “other agency authorised by the Central Government to check facts.” This makes the list of possible government agencies with such harsh powers even longer, says the letter.

Also, the way the amendment is written shows how arbitrary it is because there are no rules or procedures for figuring out what is actually “fake” or “false,” which are not terms that are standardised.

It says that the Guild is “deeply worried” about this proposed change that would give PIB so much power. At the start, it says that the government can’t be the only one to decide what is fake news because that would lead to censorship of the press. It also says that there are multiple laws to deal with content that is found to be false.

“This new procedure basically makes it easier to silence the free press. It will give the PIB or any “other agency authorised by the Central Government for fact-checking” broad powers to force online intermediaries to take down content that the government may find troubling, the Guild wrote to Vaishnaw.


Hi, my name is Nisha and I'm an educational journalist based in India. I've always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and that's what led me to pursue a career in journalism focused on this area. I completed my Bachelor's degree in English from Hindu College in Delhi in 2013 and then went on to earn my Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in 2017. During my studies, I also completed several short-term courses on Education in India, Sociology, and other related subjects to deepen my knowledge in this field. I'm particularly interested in improving access to quality education in rural areas, where students often face significant challenges. I've worked on a number of initiatives to address this issue, including advocating for better policies, resources, and practices that can make a difference. As an educational journalist, I'm passionate about using my platform to highlight important issues in the education space. I've covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology in the classroom, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, and the challenges facing students from marginalized communities. One of the things I love most about my work is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I'm an avid reader and believe that reading is key to expanding one's knowledge and perspective. I'm always seeking out new ideas and insights to help me better understand the world around me. In summary, as an educational journalist, I'm dedicated to using my skills and expertise to make a positive impact in the field of education. I'm committed to improving access to quality education for all students and to using my platform to raise awareness about important issues in this area.

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