OTT platforms and online media are now under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting

The Central Government has issued an order regarding the OTT platforms and online news portals in India. The country’s OTT platforms and online portals are now under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. With this, all the restrictions that apply to print, visual and audio media will now apply to online platforms as well. Currently, online news portals in the country do not require registration. There are reports that registration will be required. But it is not clear how the restrictions will be lifted. Earlier, Supreme Court issued notice to Centre on PIL to regulate OTT platforms as there is no law or autonomous body to monitor and manage these digital contents and it is made available to the public at large without any filter or screening. Supreme Court overviewed the plea that the lack of legislation governing OTT/Streaming Platforms is becoming evident with each passing day and every new case that is filed on these grounds. The court also noticed that none of the OTT/Streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Zee5, and Hotstar have signed the self-regulation provided by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting since February 2020. The ministry had earlier told the top court in a separate case that there is a need to regulate digital media and that the court may first appoint a committee of persons as amicus before laying down guidelines with respect to the regulation of hate speech in media.