Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a digital advocacy firm, has questioned the government’s decision to block 59 apps and noted that any opaqueness in blocking rules impacts the digital rights of citizens. The firm filed a Right To Information (RTI) seeking reasons behind the ban but was informed that information is “restricted” and “prohibited”. “Such secrecy and opacity in the Blocking Rules is a systemic issue and affects the digital rights of every citizen. We need the govt to cease such opaque blocking and introduce regulatory reforms to increase the transparency and accountability of the govt authorities involved,” said the advisory body on its Twitter handle. The government in its response, detailed out the various authorities that looked into the banning of the apps but did not divulge details of the grounds on which the apps were barred. “…clause 16 of Information Technology procedure and safeguards for blocking for access of information by public rules 2009 says that strict confidentiality shall be maintained regarding all the requests and complaints received and actions taken thereof. The information sought by the applicant is restricted and prohibited under section, 8 (1)(a)of the RTI Act, 2005. Accordingly, it is not permissible for this CPIO to… Read full this story
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