Govt proposes to convey web calling, messaging apps like WhatsApp, Zoom below telecom licence

The federal government has launched the draft Indian Telecommunication Invoice, 2022. It proposes that the definition of ‘telecommunication’ be expanded to incorporate over-the-top (OTT) companies, satellite-based communication companies, internet-based communication companies, in-flight and maritime connectivity companies, interpersonal communications companies and machine-to-machine communication companies.

It implies that Meta-owned WhatsApp, Zoom and Google Duo will probably be introduced below the ambit of telecom licence, in accordance with the draft of the Indian Telecommunication Invoice, 2022.

The federal government has, nevertheless, proposed to offer exemption to press messages which are meant to be printed in India of correspondents accredited to the Central or state governments from being intercepted.

“For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license,” in accordance with the draft.

The final date for public touch upon the draft is October 20.

“Seeking your views on the draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022,” Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw stated in a publish on a social media platform through which he additionally shared the hyperlink of the draft invoice.

The federal government within the invoice additionally proposed a provision to waive charges and penalty of telecom and web service suppliers. The ministry has additionally proposed a provision for the refund of charges in case a telecom or web supplier surrenders his license.

In response to the draft, the central authorities could, “waive in part or full any fee, including entry fees, license fees, registrations fees or any other fees or charges, interest, additional charges or penalty” for any licence holder or registered entity below the telecom guidelines.

The invoice proposes to exempt “press messages that are intended to be published in India” of correspondents accredited to the central or state authorities from interception.

Nonetheless, the exemption won’t be granted in case of any public emergency or within the curiosity of the general public security, sovereignty, integrity or safety of India, pleasant relations with overseas states, public order, or to stop incitement to an offence, in accordance with the draft.

In such instances, any message or class of messages, to or from any particular person or class of individuals, or regarding any explicit topic, introduced for transmission by, or transmitted or obtained by any telecommunication companies or telecommunication community, shall not be transmitted, or shall be intercepted or detained or disclosed? to the approved officer, in accordance with the draft invoice.

With PTI Inputs 

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