Amid the political war over former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s allegation that the Indian Government threatened to shut down the microblogging site’s operation in India, the Opposition party MPs are set to raise the matter in the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Communication and Information Technology (IT) meeting on Thursday.
“We will raise the recent statement of the former CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey’s allegation in which the Government of India threatened to block Twitter during the farmer protests in the country. We would seek a response from the official attending the meeting today on behalf of the government,” an opposition party MP told ANI.
The MP further said, “Opposition MPs want the chairman to allow the issue concerned with Dorsey’s “pressure” remark to be raised in the meeting and the government to respond to it.”
A parliamentary standing committee is scheduled to meet today under the chairmanship of Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) Lok Sabha MP Jadhav Prataprao Ganpatrao. The parliamentary panel has been called to discuss citizen data security and privacy.
“Evidence of the representatives of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology on the subject ‘Citizens’ data security and privacy”, Committee agenda read.
The committee has total of 31 members from different parties including both houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha).
Earlier, the former Twitter CEO in an interview aired on the YouTube channel alleged that the Indian government threatened to shut down the microblogging portal.
“India is one of the countries which had many requests around farmers’ protests, around particular journalists who were critical of the government and it manifested in ways such as we will shut Twitter down in India, India is a big marketplace for us. We would raid the homes of your employees, which they did and we will shut down your offices if you don’t follow suit and this is India, a democratic country,” Dorsey said in the interview.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar hit out at Jack Dorsey’s Indian government’s “pressure” remark. Chandrasekhar alleged that between 2020 and 2022, Twitter was found violating Indian law multiple times and the platform had started to comply with the law only in 2022.
Reacting to Dorsey’s claim, Rajeev Chandrasekhar called it “an outright lie” and “an attempt to brush out the very dubious period” of the social media company’s history. He said that Twitter “weaponised misinformation” against Indians and the government of India during the period of 2020.
Chandrasekhar said, “During the period of 2020, Twitter weaponised misinformation against Indians and the government of India and therefore they were exposed. Twitter which is now in the public domain, during this period, was not only partisan but was behaving in an absolutely arbitrary manner and the Twitter files that have then come out after Jack Dorsey sold Twitter exposed it to be a platform that abused its power, misused its power.”
“Between 2020-2022, Twitter violated Indian law multiple times. It started complying with the law only in 2022. During that entire period, nobody went to jail, and nobody was raided. Jack Dorsey knowing very well that Twitter did not comply with any law and didn’t face any consequence, is today lying and making stories about raids and arrests,” Chandrasekhar said. (ANI)