The San Francisco-based company filed a petition with the Supreme Court in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka, on Tuesday according to a list reviewed online by CNN Business.
Twitter declined to comment on the case.
But a source familiar with the file said the company decided to appeal some of the government’s orders because it “shows an excessive and disproportionate use of powers”.
“The authorities target people for content posted online, and regularly intimidate web platforms and social media services into complying with censorship,” said Raman Jiet Singh Cheema, senior international advisor and Asia Pacific policy director at digital rights group Access Now.
Cheema and other free speech advocates accused the government of trying to censor journalists, protest groups, and opponents with blocking orders that are rarely made public.
“Today, Twitter is standing up for the population and doing what should be the government’s job: protecting our rights,” he added.
The source said India’s technology ministry threatened Twitter last month with “serious consequences”, including initiating criminal proceedings against its executives, if the company failed to comply with agency orders to remove some of the tweets and ban accounts.
While the company blocked access to Content in India at the moment, it is seeking judicial review of some of the orders. company The source believes that they are violating the country’s technology laws and threatening freedom of expression.
He added that all platforms operating in the country “have [an] An unequivocal commitment to comply with our laws and rules.”
face high risk
The lawsuit brought by Twitter is the latest dispute in an increasingly contentious relationship between tech companies in Silicon Valley and one of its largest markets. India’s ruling party has intensified its crackdown on social media and messaging apps since last year.
US tech companies repeatedly expressed concerns last year that the country’s tech rules could erode privacy, lead to mass surveillance and harm business in the world’s fastest-growing digital market. India says it’s trying Preserving national security.
A company spokesperson told CNN Business on Wednesday that the case is pending.
Twitter also expressed concerns about IT rules last year, and said it plans to “advocate for changes to the elements of these regulations that prevent open and free public conversation.”
In its lawsuit filed this week, Twitter did not challenge India’s technology law, but said the government’s blocking orders were “disproportionate in several cases,” according to the source.
However, some feel the company could have gone further.
“They have defied the Indian government’s orders in these specific cases, rather than challenging the Indian government’s lack of accountability afforded by the IT Act,” said Nikhil Bhawa, founder of Delhi-based technology website MediaNama.
“Twitter has had the opportunity to do more, and they have failed to try to make a significant change,” he added.
– Swati Gupta and Isha Mitra contributed to this report.
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