Parliamentary Committee Issues Ultimatum To Twitter To Ensure Indian Elections Aren't Undermined Or Influenced By Foreign Entities: Sources

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After Twitter Vice President of Public Policy, Colin Crowel, appeared before the parliamentary panel on Information Technology on February 25, the micro-blogging platform has been given 10 days to reply in writing to questions that remained unanswered, said sources. Sources added that they may be called again before the Parliamentary Committee.

Written By Apoorva Rao | Mumbai | Updated On:

After Twitter Vice President of Public Policy, Colin Crowell, appeared before the parliamentary panel on Information Technology on February 25, the micro-blogging platform has been given 10 days to reply in writing to questions that remained unanswered, said sources. Sources added that they may be called again before the Parliamentary Committee.

Sources also said that Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology head Anurag Thakur has warned Twitter to ensure that Indian elections are not undermined and influenced by foreign entities. He stressed that they must work in real time with Election Commission to address issues.

 Thakur read out a personal letter addressed to him by Twitter's Jack Dorsey and allowed Colin Crowell, Vice President & Global Policy Head to appear on Monday.

The Parliamentary panel also asked the Twitter VP under which act was it registered in India, whether it was registered as a media company or as in any other form. Twitter was not able to answer the question.

The panel also told the company that groups who are against India and terrorists groups which use the platform must be reigned in from doing so. It also told Twitter that it must not allow groups who are against India to use the social media app and website.

READ | Parliamentary Panel Demands Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Appear Before It On Feb 25, Sends Back Twitter India Officials Who Had Answered Summons: Sources

Crowell appeared before the panel on IT on February 25 after CEO Jack Dorsey cited 'short-notice' to explain his unavailability for the hearing. The 31-member committee conducting the session will discuss the “safeguarding of citizen’s rights on social/online news media platforms”.

This comes after the Parliamentary panel on Information Technology had summoned Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to appear before it on February 25, and had refused to meet "junior officials" of the micro-blogging site during its meeting on February 11.

The meeting had been called against the backdrop of growing concerns about safeguarding citizens' data privacy and the possibility of social media platforms being used to interfere in the upcoming elections.

READ | Twitter VP In India, Will Face Questions From 31-member Parliamentary Panel

Twitter officials who had come to answer to the Parliamentary Committee on IT on February 11 after they were summoned were sent back. 

They had come to represent the company to answer the summons issued to it over allegations of bias on its platform. 

Republic TV had issued a questionnaire to the Twitter officials, following which they had said that it would seek mutually agreeable dates with the Lok Sabha Secretariat and had asked if Twitter India officials could attend in the interim.

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