“Intermediary”, with respect to any particular electronic records, means any person who on behalf of another person receives, stores or transmits that record or provides any service with respect to that record and includes telecoms service providers, network service providers, internet service providers, web-hosting service providers, search engines, online payment sites, online-auction sites, online-market places and cyber cafes;
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
(Department of Information Technology)
New Delhi, the 11th April, 2011
G.S.R. 314(E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (zg) of subsection (2) of section 87 read with sub-section (2) of section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely.-
1. Short title and commencement — (1) These rules may be called the Information Technology (Intermediaries guidelines) Rules, 2011.
(2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette
2. Definitions — (1) In these rules, unless the context otherwise requires,–
(a) “Act” means the Information Technology Act, 2000 (21 of 2000);
(b) “Communication link” means a connection between a hyperlink
or graphical element (button, drawing, image) and one or more
such items in the same or different electronic document wherein
upon clicking on a hyperlinked item, the user is automatically
transferred to the other end of the hyperlink which could be another document website or graphical element.
(c) “Computer resource” means computer resources as defined in clause (k) of sub- section (1) of section 2 of the Act;
(d) “Cyber security incident” means any real or suspected adverse event in relation to cyber security that violates an explicity or implicity applicable security policy resulting in unauthotrised access, denial of service or disruption, unauthorised use of a computer resource for processing or storage of information or changes to data, information without authorisation;
(e) “Data” means data as defined in clause (o) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Act;
f) “Electronic Signature” means electronic signature as defined in clause (ta) of subsection (1) of section 2 of the Act;
g) “Indian Computer Emergency Response Team” means the Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team appointed under sub section (1) section 70 (B) of the Act;
h) “Information” means information as defined in clause (v) of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Act;
i) “Intermediary” means an intermediary as defined in clause of sub-section (1) of section 2 of the Act;
j) “User” means any person who access or avail any computer resource of intermediary for the purpose of hosting, publishing, sharing, transacting, displaying or uploading information or views and includes other persons jointly participating in using the computer resource of an intermediary.
(2) All other words and expressions used and not defined in these rules but defined in the Act shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Act.
3. Due diligence to he observed by intermediary — The intermediary shall observe following due diligence while discharging his duties, namely : —
user agreement for access-or usage of the intermediary’s computer resource by any person.
(2) Such rules and regulations, terms and conditions or user agreement shall inform the
users of computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that —
a) belongs to another person and to which the user does not have any right to;
b) is grossly harmful, harassing, blasphemous defamatory, obscene,
pornographic, paedophilic, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or
racially, ethnically objectionable, disparaging, relating or encouraging money
laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in any manner whatever;
c) harm minors in any way;
d) infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights; (e) violates
any law for the time being in force;
e) deceives or misleads the addressee about the origin of such messages or
communicates any information which is grossly offensive or menacing in nature;
f) impersonate another person;
h) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs
designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer
i) threatens the unity, integrity, defence, security or sovereignty of India, friendly
relations with foreign states, or public order or causes incitement to the commission
of any cognisable offence or prevents investigation of any offence or is insulting any
(3) The intermediary shall not knowingly host or publish any information or shall not
initiate the transmission, select the receiver of transmission, and select or modify the
information contained in the transmission as specified in sub-rule (2):
provided that the following actions by an intermediary shall not amount to hosing, publishing, editing or storing of any such information as specified in
sub-rule: (2) —
(a) temporary or transient or intermediate storage of information automatically within
the computer resource as an intrinsic feature of such computer resource, involving no
exercise of any human editorial control, for onward transmission or communication to
another computer resource;
(b) removal of access to any information, data or communication link by an
intermediary after such information, data or communication link comes to the actual
knowledge of a person authorised by the intermediary pursuant to any order or direction as per the provisions of the Act;
(4) The intermediary, on whose computer system the information is stored or hosted or
published, upon obtaining knowledge by itself or been brought to actual knowledge by an affected person in writing or through email signed with electronic signature about any such information as mentioned in sub-rule (2) above, shall act within thirty six hours and where applicable, work with user or owner of such information to disable such information that is in contravention of sub-rule (2). Further the intermediary shall preserve such information and associated records for at least ninety days for investigation purposes,
(5) The Intermediary shall inform its users that in case of non-compliance with rules and
computer resource, the Intermediary has the right to immediately terminate the access or usage lights of the users to the computer resource of Intermediary and remove noncompliant information..
(6) The intermediary shall strictly follow the provisions of the Act or any other laws for the time being in force.
(7) When required by lawful order, the intermediary shall provide information or any such assistance to Government Agencies who are lawfully authorised for investigative, protective, cyber security activity. The information or any such assistance shall be provided for the purpose of verification of identity, or for prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, cyber security incidents and punishment of offences under any law for the time being in force, on a request in writing staling clearly the purpose of seeking such information or any such assistance.
(8) The intermediary shall take all reasonable measures to secure its computer
resource and information contained therein following the reasonable security practices andprocedures as prescribed in the Information Technology (Reasonable security practicesand procedures and sensitive personal Information) Rules, 2011.
(9) The intermediary shall report cyber security incidents and also share cyber
security incidents related information with the Indian Computer Emergency Response
(10) The intermediary shall not knowingly deploy or install or modify the
technical configuration of computer resource or become party to any such act which may change or has the potential to change the normal course of operation of the computer resource than what it is supposed to “perform thereby circumventing any law for the time being in force:
provided that the intermediary may develop, produce, distribute or employ
technological means for the sole purpose of performing the acts of securing the
computer resource and information contained therein.
(11) The intermediary shall publish on its website the name of the Grievance Officer
and his contact details as well as mechanism by which users or any victim who suffers as a result of access or usage of computer resource by any person in violation of rule 3 can
notify their complaints against such access or usage of computer resource of the
intermediary or other matters pertaining to the computer resources made available by it. The Grievance Officer shall redress the complaints within one month from the date of
receipt of complaint.