Twitter Blocking Orders: Karnataka HC Issues Notice To Union Against Blocking Accounts


Twitter is the talk of the town in recent times, mainly for the acquisition deal with Elon Musk. In India, Twitter is once again in the limelight, but for a different reason. The Karnataka High Court issued notice to the Union of India on a petition filed by Twitter, which challenged the 'blocking orders' issued by the IT ministry.

Karnataka HC Issues Notice To Union Against Twitter Blocking Orders

Twitter Blocking Orders Explained

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has requested Twitter Inc. of blocking several accounts. All of these link back to the Information Technology Act, 2000, which puts platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and others under it. 'Blocking Orders' also come under the act.

Going into the details, the IT Act of 2000 allows the Union Ministry to comply with the list of accounts that can be blocked. In the latest development, the IT Ministry issued a communication dated June 27, 2022, with a list of blocking orders.

The Ministry also said that if Twitter were not to comply, it would prescribe serious consequences against the microblogging website. It was also said the Ministry would withdraw the protection under Section 79 (1) of the IT Act.

Karnataka HC Issues Notice To Union Against Twitter Blocking Orders

Twitter Blocking Orders Dismissed

In the latest development, Krishna S Dixit heard the petition filed by Twitter Inc. at the Karnataka High Court. The hearing of the petition was done at the request of Senior Counsels Mukul Rohatgi and Ashok Harnalli, who was representing Twitter Inc.

Twitter explained that if the blocking orders complied, "our entire business will have to be closed." To note, Blocking Rules require reasons to be recorded for issuance of orders to block the accounts/URLs. This is also because Twitter is answerable to individual account holders to block their accounts. In this case, the Union Ministry failed to provide reasons to block objectionable tweets.

In related news, Twitter is also gearing up for an even bigger legal battle in the US. The Twitter vs Elon Musk legal case will begin hearing in October. To note, Elon Musk and his legal team wanted the court hearing to be held in February 2023 but it was now scheduled for October this year. The hearing would even determine the future of Twitter, the ownership, and other crucial details.

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