Daphne keller: ‘A world leader, India knows how to regulate technology, everyday life with sophistication’

India’s upcoming intermediary guidelines have become a key topic for global stakeholders, like Wikipedia and WhatsApp. Daphne Keller, the Director of Intermediary Liability at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society and a former Associate General Counsel for Google, speaks to Karishma Mehrotra about how the trends in India’s technology legislation fit into a global picture.

How does India fare in your research and teaching on technology regulation?

India and a couple of other countries like Brazil and Argentina were world leaders in their sophistication while thinking about how the laws that regulate technology are in effect laws that regulate ordinary individuals in our everyday lives.

I teach my students about the Shreya Singhal vs. Union of India ruling. It is one of the four most important globally-leading cases about the question, ‘If the Constitution puts obligations on governments to protect citizen’s rights, how does that constraint the laws that the government can pass to regulate speech platforms?’ If governments are asking, how much can we just tell private companies to regulate speech, Shreya Singhal says the answer is not that much. It’s really important that government authorities regulate speech, and when they fail in their authority, they can’t pass the buck to private companies.

Read the full interview here