Draft Telecom Bill proposes No Interception of press messages

NEW DELHI: The draught of the Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022, which has been made public by the Center, makes the proposal to exempt press messages from being intercepted that are intended for publication in India by journalists accredited to the Central or state governments.

The proposed legislation, which was made public late on Wednesday, also includes a crucial provision that would exclude telecom and internet service providers from fines and penalties.

The draught reads that the exemption for press messages would not be granted in the event of a public emergency, or in the interest of everyone's safety, the sovereignty, integrity, or security of India, or to maintain good relations with other countries or to maintain public order or to avoid inciting criminal activity.

Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw posted the draught legislation on social media. On it, the public has been invited to remark.

The draught legislation is still subject to comment until October 20.

It  also suggests fee refunds in the event that a telecom or internet service provider offers to revoke the licence.
The Center may "waive off in part or in full any price, including entry fees, licencing fees, registration fees or any other fees or charges, interest, additional charges or penalty," according to the draught bill, for any licence holder or registered organisation under the telecom rules.

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