BENGALURU: Home minister G Parameshwara said on Tuesday the Karnataka government will introduce a new cyberlaw to contain the spread of fake news and propagation of hate speech on social media and also rein in those behind such posts.

The minister said under the new law, the country heads of social media platforms will be held accountable for content propagated through their outlets.
In a coordinated move, chief minister Siddaramaiah said in Mangaluru that strict action will be taken against individuals who defame others and spread fake news on social media. tnn

The home minister said a panelwill be formed comprising experts from the home, information technology and cybercrime prevention departments to make suggestions on the nature of the new law. “Based on their report, we will draft the law,” he added.
He claimed that fake news and rumours against the state government, the chief minister and other ministers were being spread through social media. “CM Siddaramaiah has taken this issue very seriously and will soon have a meeting with representatives of major social media platforms,” Parameshwara said.
Highlighting the challenges in cracking down on cybercriminals, the home minister said punishing the perpetrators is a difficult task at times as they post fake news on social media, taking advantage of their off-shore locations. He said even social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter do not always accept the government’s request to rein in peddlers of fake news. “Since their [social media platforms] servers are in America, we are not able to take any legal action against them,” he added.
“So, under this new law, if we can make the country heads of these social media platforms accountable for the content that’s available on their platforms, then we will be able to contain this menace to a large extent,” he reasoned.
‘Pressure’ to withdraw general consent to CBI
The home minister said the government was under pressure to withdraw the general consent that had been granted to CBI to probe a crime in the state. Withdrawal of general consent means CBI will have to seek prior permission from the government before it can launch probe into any case in Karnataka. “There is pressure to withdraw the general consent, as several states have done already, including neighbouring Tamil Nadu. But we have not taken any decision on that yet,” Parameshwara said.
19k constables to be recruited
The minister said around 19,000 constables and 900 sub-inspectors will be recruited soon. In the first phase, 2,500 constables will be recruited for Bengaluru and another 3,500 for the rest of the state, he added. He, however, said the recruitment of PSIs will start only after the high court, which is hearing the petitions pertaining to the PSI recruitment scam that broke out during the previous regime led by BJP, gives its verdict on the issue.
“The government is in favour of conducting a re-examination for the recruitment of 542 PSIs and the same has been conveyed to the high court,” he said.


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