FEED Issue 12

7 NEWSFEED Updates & Upgrades

CHILLING EFFECT IN INDIA? The Indian government has drafted a new proposal under Section 79 of the IT Act, which provides immunity for internet intermediaries for illegal or unlawful third-party content. The proposal aims to make social media safer, though its possibilities for censorship could have a chilling effect on free speech and privacy online.

The proposed changes would compel social media outlets to

remove any content deemed unlawful within 24 hours of notice and require secure messaging services to decrypt encrypted data for government use. The government has not yet specified what would qualify as ‘unlawful’, but the proposal comes ahead of the general election in May, amid rising concerns that activists could use social media to spread fake news and sway voters. Apar Gupta, from digital rights group, Internet Freedom Foundation, described

the proposal as a “tremendous expansion in the power of the

broadcast fake messages about child kidnap gangs, which resulted in mob lynchings in India last year. Facebook and WhatsApp (owned by Facebook) have not commented on the proposal, but a Twitter spokesperson said: “Our hope is that after this

government over ordinary citizens”, that is “eerily reminiscent of China’s blocking and breaking of user encryption to surveille its citizens”. India’s IT ministry insists that the proposal is “not an effort to curb freedom of speech or impose censorship”. The proposal follows recent criticism of secure messaging service, WhatsApp, after it was used to

robust public consultation process, any changes to the Intermediaries Guidelines in India strike a careful balance that protects important values, such as freedom of expression.” BELARUS 24 GOES HD

Globecast has been selected by the National State TV and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus (BTRC) to launch the HD variant of its international satellite channel, Belarus 24. The Russian-language channel, distributed as an FTA service on Eutelsat’s Hot Bird satellite, has been SD since 2005. It broadcasts social, cultural and political content. The move to HD marks a first from a CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) country.

hub in Paris. Biliana Pumpalovic, general director of Globecast Moscow, commented: “We feel privileged that Belarus 24 came to us with this key upgrade in their distribution development. We’ve worked closely with them to bring the HD version of Belarus 24 to millions of viewers.” Aleksandr Martynenko, general director of Belarus 24, said: “We are very happy with our choice of Globecast, as the project has gone exceptionally smoothly.”

The HD variant is powered via Globecast’s XN solution, which will manage the transport of broadcast services over the internet. Globecast is providing this solution to the Belarus 24 Moscow facility from its

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