Internet Calling Apps Like WhatsApp, Zoom, Skype May Soon Need Telecom Licence; Govt Proposes Draft Bill

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New Delhi: Acting tough against video communication and calling apps, the Centre has proposed to bring Meta-owned WhatsApp, Zoom, and Google Duo under the ambit of telecom licence, as written in the draft of the Indian Telecommunication Bill 2022. The government has, however, proposed to give exemption to press messages that are intended to be published in India of correspondents accredited to the Central or state governments from being intercepted.Also Read – New Telecom Bill, Set To Replace 3 Existing Laws, To Be In Place In 6-10 Months

The draft bill has included OTT as part of the telecommunication service. “For provision of Telecommunication Services and Telecommunication Networks, an entity shall have to obtain a license,” the draft bill released on Wednesday evening said. “Seeking your views on the draft Indian Telecom Bill 2022,” Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a post on a social media platform in which he also shared the link of the draft bill. The last date for public comment on the draft is October 20. Also Read – Here Is How You Can Use Two WhatsApp Accounts On A Single Device. Follow The Steps Here

HERE ARE 5 MORE POINTS FOR THIS BIG STORY ON TELECOM RULES:

  1. The government in the bill has proposed a provision to waive fees and penalty of telecom and internet service providers. The ministry has also proposed a provision for the refund of fees in case a telecom or internet provider surrenders his license.
  2. According to the draft, the central government may, “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 under the telecom rules.
  3. The bill proposes to exempt “press messages that are intended to be published in India” of correspondents accredited to the central or state government from interception.
  4. However, the exemption will not be granted in case of any public emergency or in the interest of the public safety, sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or to prevent incitement to an offence, according to the draft.
  5. In such cases any message or class of messages, to or from any person or class of persons, or relating to any particular subject, brought for transmission by, or transmitted or received by any telecommunication services or telecommunication network, shall not be transmitted, or shall be intercepted or detained or disclosed to the authorized officer, according to the draft bill.

(Based on PTI inputs) Also Read – Blocked on WhatsApp? Here’s How to Find Out

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