In order to exercise more control on the social media platforms, Andhra Pradesh government is planning to launch a Social Media Regulatory Authority (SMRA), in the state. The chief minister has instructed an Ex- DGP to come up with a draft of regulations and also pick legal experts who can efficiently address any issues related to social media. If sources are to be believed, Yanamala Ramakrishnudu is likely to play a significant role in the creation of this draft.
According to the Information Technology Act 2000, the citizens using the internet to post objectionable content on social media are liable to punishment. The law has taken a step further and identifies citizens posting content on social media as network service providers and content service providers. An expert in cyber law at the Commissionerate of city police said that under the law, these are identified as intermediaries.
He said that the cyber law expects the intermediaries to conduct due diligence while they discharge their responsibilities. Chandu Srinivasa Rao, a high court advocate said that while addressing the Shreya Singhal case, the Supreme Court had declared that it is the duty of the intermediaries to remove or deny access to any information while also providing information that can prove useful in identifying the offenders. However, according to him the setting up of an SMRA still seems to be an ill conceived notion as any offensive activity conducted on the social media leaves an electronic imprint, thus making it easy to identify the offender and bring him under prosecution.
The state government is busy consulting with the cyber law experts to understand how the social media menace that the CM and his family are facing can be resolved. Though the idea of SMRA is in the initial stages, the government is doing its best by using all possible methods to regulate social media.