Government aware of online gaming risks, intermediaries obligated to observe due diligence: MoS IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Published on:

The Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar, in a written response to questions posed in the Lok Sabha, said that the government is aware of challenges of online gaming, such as the danger of and addiction to violent video games and resulting financial loss.

The Information Technology Rules of 2021, also known as the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code, mandate that internet intermediaries exercise due diligence to ensure that no harm is done to children, according to Chandrasekhar.

Chandrasekhar also responded to a series of questions asked by Vishnu Datt Sharma and Bhagirath Choudhary regarding the excess use of online games. They asked if the government is aware of any kind of trend of violent online games spreading among youth and whether the information regarding most online games being a means to waste precious time of children has reached the government.

Chandrasekhar replied as follows –

“The policies of the Government are aimed at ensuring an Open, Safe and Trusted and Accountable Internet for its users. With the expansion of the Internet and more and more Indians coming online, the potential for Indians being exposed to content depicting violence has grown.”

“Online game content too is one among various categories of online content offered by online gaming platform intermediaries, which is picking up around the world, including among children and adolescents in India. The Government is aware of the possible risks and challenges associated with the online games including that of violence abetting video games, addiction to it, and consequential financial loss.”

When asked if the government has taken any steps to resolve the issue regarding online gaming or limiting the excess use of online games by gamers under the age of 18 like China, Chandrasekhar replied –

“The IT Act 2000 has made the Information Technology Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021. These rules cast specific obligation on intermediaries, including social media intermediaries, to observe due diligence and provide that if they fail to observe such due diligence, they shall no longer be exempt from their liability under law for third-party information or data or communication link hosted by them.”

“Such due diligence includes the following –

1. The rules cast specific obligation on intermediaries to observe due diligence by making reasonable efforts to cause its user not to host, display, publish, transmit or share any information that is harmful to child, causes incitement to the commission of any cognizable offense, relates to encourages gambling, or violates any law for the time being in force

2. To provide, upon receipt of an order from a lawfully authorized government agency, information or assistance for prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution under law

3. In case an intermediary is a significant social media intermediary (i.e., an intermediary having more than 50 lakh registered users in India), to additionally observe due diligence in terms of appointing a Chief Compliance Officer and a nodal contact person for 24×7 coordination with law enforcement agencies.”

Finally, Chandrasekhar said that at this moment, the Government is not considering any legislation that would restrict how much time players can spend playing online games.

Exit mobile version