Spread of Misinformation is The Biggest Risk for any Country : Rajeev Chandrasekhar

NEW DELHI : “Internet shutdown or lawful shutdown is not unique to India. The UK also does that. It happens when fake news travels faster than real news and can create a law and order situation. Internet shutdown is always the last resort and it is also not unique to India, “India’s approach to privacy has been different from its European counterparts. Their approach is more prescriptive. Our approach is more citizen-centered and principle-based. I think they are signalling that they want to be prescriptive.
The Internet was earlier seen as a power for good; there is now weaponization of the internet through misinformation like Pakistan’s DGISPR, Khalistani bots, etc. Internet shutdown is the last resort to deal with misinformation. Singapore has come up with a very tight discussion. If we figure out a way to make the internet safe and trusted then there’s less need for takedowns,” Union Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said at the NDTV G20 Conclave today.
Mr Chandrasekhar said the spread of misinformation is the biggest risk for any country. India had snapped internet in Jammu and Kashmir after special status was scrapped. There is also partial internet blackout in ethnic violence-hit Manipur. “The coming of artificial intelligence can take misinformation to the next level with deep fakes and other methods,” Mr Chandrasekhar said at the Conclave. He said internet shutdowns are meant to stop the spread of misinformation.
Citing the example of the hugely successful United Payments Interface (UPI), the Union Minister also explained how the government has been able to bust the myth that tech is expensive. Millions of Indians are using UPI now from transactions as low as Re 1 to shopping goods worth thousands. “We have turned the narrative that tech is expensive on its head. UPI has plugged leaks in the government process. Earlier, ₹ 100 left Delhi and only ₹ 15 would reach the people as the process had leaks,” Mr Chandrasekhar Said. He said “We plan to connect all public services with digital public Infrastructure (DPI). India’s DPI is moving towards AI for governance,” he said, referring to artificial intelligence.
“No ban on laptops, there’s no License Raj; our communication was bad. We don’t want any equipment coming into the country which is anything other than trusted. Most laptops are manufactured in a particular country and we don’t want any dependency. We want Made In India products and stuff that is trusted by us and if you want to import it then it should be from a trusted source. We do not do anything that would disrupt our digital economy. We want trusted source equipment. We don’t want to be in a position like many Western countries where 80% of equipment has a dubious source,” Mr Chandrashekhar said.


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