The pleas in Delhi High Court challenge the Information Technology Rules, 2021 as they set up a classification of news publishers & current affairs content as part of ‘digital media, & seek to regulate these news portals under Part III of the Rules by imposing Government oversight and a ‘Code of Ethics.
DNPA, the publishers of newspapers, magazines and TV channels with websites, said they are already regulated by self-censorship. The new IT Rules will end up allowing the government to interfere with their functioning. The DNPA found lacunae in the IT Rules' classifying them with only-web media.
Though meant to protect citizens from cybercrime and digital bullying, the Rules infringe on the fundamental right to privacy and freedom of speech and expression. They should have been introduced in Parliament.