Last year, Twitter sued India for orders to block content in the country, saying the government applied its 2021 IT laws “arbitrarily and disproportionately”. Now India’s High Court in Karnataka has dismissed the plea, with a judge saying Twitter failed to explain why it delayed comply with the new laws in the first place, Tech Crunch reported. The court also imposed a fine of 5 million rupees ($61,000) on the company owned by Elon Musk.
“Your client (Twitter) received notices and your client did not comply. The penalty for non-compliance is seven years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. This also did not deter your client “, the judge told the legal representative of Twitter. “So you gave no reason why you delayed compliance, over a year late…then all of a sudden you comply and approach the Court. You are not a farmer but a billion dollar company.”
Twitter’s relationship with India has been strained for much of 2021. In February, the government threat jail Twitter employees unless the company removes content related to farmer protests that year. Shortly after, India ordered Twitter to post tweets criticizing the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. More recently, the government ordered Twitter to block tweets from liberty housea non-profit organization that claims India is an example of a country where press freedom is on the decline.
These incidents put Twitter in a compromising position. He either had to comply with government orders to block content (and face censorship criticism inside and outside the country) or ignore them and risk losing. his legal immunity. In August he complied with orders and removed the content in accordance with the order.
The court order follows Recent Comments from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, claiming that India had threatened to raid the homes of employees if it did not comply with orders to remove posts and accounts. In a tweet, India’s Deputy Information Technology Minister called it a “barefaced lie” claiming that Twitter was “breaking the law”.
Twitter filed the lawsuit around the same time Elon Musk started trying to evade buying twitter. Since then, Twitter has often complied with government takedown requests – most recently in Turkey, where it limited access to some tweets ahead of a hotly contested election won by incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.