Government proposes to bring internet calling apps like Whatsapp, Zoom under telecom licence- The New Indian Express


Through PTI

NEW DELHI: Over-the-top players like Whatsapp, Zoom and Google Duo that offer calling and messaging services may need licenses to operate in the country, according to the draft Telecommunications Law 2022.

The bill included OTT as part of the telecom service.

“A company must obtain a license for the provision of telecommunications services and telecommunications networks,” says the draft law published on Wednesday evening.

The government has proposed a provision in the bill to waive fees and penalties for telecom and internet service providers.

The ministry has also proposed a provision for fee refunds if a telecom or internet provider relinquishes its license.

“I would like your opinion on the draft Indian Telecoms Law 2022,” Telecoms Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a post on a social media platform, where he also shared the link to the draft law.

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The final date for public comment on the draft is October 20th.

According to the draft, the central government may “waive part or all of any fee, including entry fee, license fee, registration fee or other fee or charge, interest, additional fee or penalty” for any license holder or registered entity under the Telecom Rules.

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The bill proposes to exempt from surveillance “press messages intended for publication in India” by correspondents accredited to the central or state government.

However, the exception will not be granted in the event of a public emergency, or in the interest of public safety, sovereignty, integrity or security of India, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or to prevent incitement to commit a crime, according to the draft.

In such cases “no message or class of message shall be transmitted to or by any person or group of persons or relating to any particular subject, caused to be transmitted by, or transmitted or received by, any telecommunications service or telecommunications network, or shall be intercepted or detained or subject to officials authorized to represent,” says the draft bill.

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