[Answered] It is the need of the hour for the government to devise appropriate regulations to protect the openness of the internet. Comment.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Explain why there is need for the government to devise appropriate regulations to protect the openness of the internet.

Conclusion: Write a way forward.

Internet openness means enabling people to observe, participate, and innovate, on both the core internet infrastructure and major online services. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)’s report- “Internet in India”, at present, there are a total of 692 million active internet users in India and there will be 900 million internet users in India by 2025.

Need to protect the openness of the internet:

  • Digital technologiesare evolving at a very fast rate. The code of conduct and regulations can not catch up with the new gateway providers that are emerging.
  • Sometimes internet gateways enable and restrict access to other gateways or networks, so the openness of the internet is threatened.
  • The Internet’s economic importance has grown exponentially, driven by a higher number of users and the growing adoption of digital tools like E-commerce, cloud computing, online advertising, digital payments
  • Various practices of the distribution platforms like Google and Apple have come into question lately. These ranges from restrictions on payment gateways, advertising choices, app policiesand various other aspects which are discriminatory in both principle and practice. g. Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store are said to be charging up to 30% commission on payments processed.
  • As Google and Apple have garnered unilateral controlover the publishing of smartphone applications on their OS. Various smartphone application-dependent businesses and developers continue to remain vulnerable to such internal business policy changes on these platforms.

The Indian government has taken steps to maintain its sovereignty through the path-breaking and disruptive digital public goods like Aadhaar, UPI, DigiLocker, and CoWIN. The need of the hour for the government to devise appropriate regulations to ensure a level playing field and not let the innovating gateways turn into gatekeepers.

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