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US and India have a lot of work to do on digital cooperation | Business and Economic Affairs


New Delhi, India – It’s a show that seems to be well worth the Bollywood movie.

In February, Twitter deleted hundreds of accounts that recorded ongoing agricultural protests against three agricultural laws issued in India last year, but to restore some of the emergency to the public.

Twitter said the accounts had been removed to meet the requirements of the Indian government. But this was only the beginning of this year’s controversy between the media giant in the United States and the Indian government.

Authorities in New Delhi have enacted new regulations that require, among other things, a social network to expose content providers – making the show available from professional companies and freedom fighters.

Indian police took to Twitter’s offices in May after failing to comply with a request to remove a “media” post in which they tweeted tweets from politicians of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). At the end of June, a Twitter account in India was hit by Indian map police showing that Kashmir is a foreign state, with the right group filing a police complaint on June 30 alleging that Twitter promoted child pornography. on his platform.

A number of US technical giants have found themselves on the border with Indian authorities [File: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg]

Twitter is not the only one on the cross. Facebook and Amazon have also been accused of colluding with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government – disputes that prove that a lack of cooperation between them could see the US-Indian superstar’s relationship with the Indian government undermine – which could be devastating.

India has 1.1 billion mobile subscribers and 757 million internet users, most of whom go online via their mobile phones, according to a recent government report. Such a customer pool is a key factor in the Indian digital marketing market which is expected to rise from $ 2.2bn last year to $ 3.2bn by 2022, according to digital marketing company Dentsu India.

India’s natural machinery, still the first, “is one of the most important markets out there,” said Anand Raghuraman, vice president of Asia Group, a technology company. “The technology companies are aware of this and that is why they are continuing to invest heavily in India and we do not see any change in the near future,” he said.

With great luck, it’s easy to see how media giants like Twitter and Facebook are unleashing the platform Amazon and Netflix are ready to dance with some of New Delhi’s digital media. But international technology companies also know from experience that India’s development strategies tend to fluctuate frequently and are designed with complex systems to improve, warned Raghuraman.

“The real question is an urgent one – the digital economy in India or the restrictions that make it difficult for people to access it,” he said, adding that both countries needed to have “digital dialogue” and “honest dialogue” to solve problems and take them into relations with the sector. next.

India will also benefit from good relations with US technical behemoths, says Rahguraman, in helping New Delhi monitor China’s domestic and international performance, in addition to digital. It also assists in US technology companies with their deep pockets in India, helping to create jobs and promote skills.

To strengthen confidence, cut the red tape

Experts hope their hopes for the Biden government to strengthen cooperation between India and the supervisors [File: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg]

Establishing legal trust between the US and India is crucial for US companies to take part in the digital market in India without having to worry about being monitored by potential Indian players to offer copycat services.

It is hoped that a new interest in international co-operation under US President Joe Biden will continue to open the door to more cohesive relations between Washington and New Delhi as there are many barriers to cooperation.

For example, whenever Indian officials want to get information from a US law firm, they have to run a labyrinth through the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement in Criminal Matters (MLAT).

This means that if the Indian police force asks for more information from a US technology company, they must first remove the government headquarters. From there, it is forwarded to the Ministry of Interior in India, which will forward it to the foreign ministry, which will forward it to the Indian embassy in Washington, DC. From there he goes to the Foreign Office at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, after which the judge first requests. Assuming the judge allows the information to be shared, it goes back the same way back.

“It takes anywhere from 18 months to three years for the MLAT application to be processed,” said Udbhav Tiwari, a legal adviser at Mozilla, India. “You need to have an entire office to deal with the huge number of requests coming from India considering there are so many users here.”

The fact is that New Delhi could have overcome some of the barriers and been certified under the Comprehensive Data Use Act (CLOUD) – a US law where modern US companies are required to provide information that a user stores on any server they have and use when requested by another government.

Mocking Big Tech

There’s a lot of discussion in Washington to review – as well as even the first steps to see – the major powers of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and others. Some U.S. lawmakers want to violate behemoths, and violate internet-related laws – Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act – which protects platforms in legal cases over what users write on their platforms.

The experiment, which escalated during the presidency of former US President Donald Trump, has continued under Biden, and has been able to “play the Indian government’s grievances” on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook with their slogans, Salman Waris, TechLegis Advocates & partner Solicitors, told Al Jazeera.

“Hating the Biden government for Big Tech encourages the Indian government to encourage some of these players and also to strengthen the whole system of promoting Indian companies and the claims of ‘India’s self-confidence’,” he said.

In the days following the incident on Twitter in October, India’s indoor photo show Koo, who owns a yellow bird for making a mark, saw a dramatic decline after government officials made a change.

Similarly, after New Delhi banned the China Bytedance television program TikTok last summer due to tensions with its eastern neighbors, their herdsmen were crushed overnight, all pushing their Indian roots.

Both Facebook and Google are based on Reliance Industries’ Jio Platform [File: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg]

If the US government can destroy major US companies and their business models, it will have a global impact, independent researcher Rajiv Sharma told Al Jazeera.

This can be heard in India where both Facebook and Google paid a lot of money last year to participate in Jio Platform, a professional business and telecom Reliance Industries, led by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

“If something hurts the potential of Google and Facebook, the excitement that comes with the three of them can be beaten,” Sharma said.

A place to work together

One area in which India can offer digital education in the US is political neutrality, the principle that internet providers should take care of all the same content without discriminating or paying different prices.

“India has very strict neutrality laws” and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India could share information with a US counterpart, the Federal Communications Commission, told Mozilla’s Tiwari.

The two can also help with cyber security. Biden executives have the opportunity to build on the Framework for US-India Cyber ​​Relationship drafted by former US President Barack Obama.

“It is a good time for both parties to consider the agreement to see what has happened and what needs to happen,” said Deepak Maheshwari, an independent political adviser.

The next generation 6G infrastructure could also be a testament to the two governments.

India, along with the US and a few other countries, has already set up red flags allowing Chinese dignitaries such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp to create next-generation networks.

And some Indian players have avoided engaging with Chinese giants in the upcoming 5G trials, choosing to work with European and Korean players, a government report in early May revealed.

“Geopolitics is the basis for this,” said Raghuraman of Asia Group. “It’s going to be a good drama.”

The tax issue can be pointless. India is one of the first countries to introduce a “similar tax” – a tax on one of the major advertising industries that India’s largest companies make – that were raised this year and incorporated advertising from e-commerce platforms.

But global taxes can become history. In a major success for Biden’s management last week, 130 countries – including India – supported a plan to reduce global taxes by less than 15%, and require large modern corporations to pay taxes in the country where their goods and services are sold.


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