Free Speech Check Unit

Syllabus: GS-II Subject: Polity Topic: Legal issues Issue: Bills/Acts/Rules

Fact Check Unit:

  • 2021 IT Rules allowed for Fact Checking Unit (FCU).
  • FCU targets online content concerning central government businesses.
  • The supreme court halted the government’s attempt to establish FCU as a statutory body under PIB.

Concerns with FCU:

  • Gives government unchecked authority with vague definitions of “fake” and “misleading”.
  • Absence of written orders and detailed reasoning raises concerns of possible suppression of journalism and dissent.
  • FCU’s timing, amidst legal challenges and impending elections.
  • Violates Article 19(Free speech) and amounts to censorship.
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