It would appear that the previously raised concerns regarding the regulation of content on streaming services such as Netflix, Hotstar, Amazon and more have been brought up again by TRAI.
As per a report by Livemint, an open house discussion being held on Monday on the regulatory framework for OTT (over-the-top) communication services, said that such services posed a threat to national security and data privacy.
“Communication services is a broad term and can include both real-time and non-real time services such as email or Internet websites to govern which the IT Act is already there. We are, however, restricting our scope to those OTT services whose function is similar to those TSPs that have a licence,” said Trai chairman R.S. Sharma, as per a report by Livemint.
What this basically means is that OTT digital services, which also include the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook and more, will be subjected to licensing or regulatory norms which are placed on telecom operators. Streaming services are currently exempt from the discussion but they might be brought under the purview of this new legislation at some point in the future.
Back in January Netflix and Hotstar planned to adopt self-regulation guidelines for content streamed on their platforms in India in an effort to prevent potential government censorship.
A draft of an unofficial code that will be adopted by Netflix, Hotstar and other local players, seen by Reuters, said that the platforms would prohibit content that shows a child “engaged in real or simulated sexual activities”, is disrespectful of India’s national flag or encourages “terrorism”.