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Will summon Google, Facebook, YouTube to warn about deepfakes: Minister

Will summon Google, Facebook, YouTube to warn about deepfakes: Minister

New Delhi: Union Electronics and Information Technology Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar said ‘severe action’ would be taken against online platforms in the event of not removing deepfakes from their sites.

Chandrasekhar said the government has summoned Google, Facebook, YouTube on November 24 to communicate the decision, India Today reported.

In an exclusive interview with the outlet, the minister said Deepfakes pose "severe danger to the safety and trust’, adding that the government considers deepfakes and misinformation to be a "very severe risk".

Deepfakes are a ‘Severe danger to the safety and trust that we believe we owe to the people of India and to the users of the Indian Internet,’ he was quoted as saying.

Chandrasekhar said the government will withdraw the clause that gives legal immunity under the Information and Technology Act if online platforms do not remove deepfakes from their sites.

The Union Minister expanded that based on the clause the immunity offered is conditional on whether platforms remove deepfakes within 36 hours of being notified about it.

If not removed within the stipulated period, the aggrieved person, according to the minister, can take the platforms to the court under the Indian Penal Code or the IT Act.

Chandrasekhar added that online platforms would be prosecuted under the act as they cannot carry misinformation or deepfakes because their immunity under the safe harbour clause will not exist.

Expanding on the government’s guidelines for the online platforms, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the amendments to the IT Act forces the sites to ensure their contents are not false information.

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