External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at India Global Forum.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar speaking at India Global Forum.

Where is responsibility, accountability of Big Tech companies? EAM Jaishankar at Global Forum

By Naveen Kapoor | Updated: Jun 30, 2021 16:54 IST

New Delhi [India], June 30 (ANI): Amid ongoing tussle between the government and social networking site Twitter for not complying with the country's new Information Technology (IT) laws, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said that in democratic societies, technology companies need to accept accountability and responsibility when they have power.
He also raised the question as to whether non-state players can gain more power than many countries.
Speaking at India Global Forum on the question of how big technology companies seem to be challenging democracy, he said: "I am laying out the challenge in a way a pro-technology person, someone who has seen some of its potential but in a democratic society we have to ask ourselves. Big Tech is there. It is in my life very visibly in my life so you have a big presence. Where is the responsibility, which comes with it, where is the accountability? This is again not an issue limited to India. They harvest our data as they do across the world so you have in the sense opposite of American revolution which is you have representation and no taxation."
External Affairs Minister, who is taking part in the forum, along with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair also said that these issues cannot be brushed under the carpet. "I think these are issues. I think today what Big Tech has done one part is looking at it as a government issue as a political issue democratic issue, we also look at the influence they command. You know international relations has been devised on the basis of state-based players what happens when non-state players who in some ways are bigger than many states? So these are very serious questions that need to be debated."
"I think they can't be brushed under the carpet saying that you can't question them the because you are attacking freedom of speech that's a pop out it obviously serves there interest so it's a very legitimate debate" Jaishankar added.
The External Affairs Minister further said " You know right now a big debate on Big Tech is going on in different parts of world including a very vigorous one in India. And I think there is a larger issue where there is technology there is innovation. I think nobody denies these are forces of progress which are taking us in directions which obviously are of great benefit and is opening up new vistas which we couldn't have imagined".
These remarks came at time when many FIR complaints have been launched against Twitter. (ANI)