Union telecom and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw listed Big Tech as one of the top 5 challenges being faced globally.
Big technology organisations have a significant impact on democracy and society at large, he said on Monday at the Partnership Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). “They also have the power to change behavioural aspects and affect decision-making capabilities which makes a fundamental difference in the vital activities of the country,” he added.
Vaishnaw had generally kept his silence when it came to Big Tech like Google, Facebook etc ever since he took over the high-profile cabinet slot from Ravi Shankar Prasad back in the summer. His predecessor, of course, had spent the last few months of his ministership taking on Big Tech—first by passing the Intermediary Rules and then coming down harshly on Big Tech firms like Twitter which failed to comply with its stipulations at first.
He also noted that the challenge of cyber security has become a global phenomenon and as a society, it is imperative to establish a synergy amongst countries. “In its preparedness to overcome the threats being posed by cyber security, India has been consistently working towards bringing in relevant technology and investment in the country,” he said.
Under the aegis of the Digital India Initiative, which aims to provide universal internet access to the country’s 1.3 billion population, the Ministry of Telecommunications has been undertaking several steps to ensure that connectivity is available even at the last mile. “As everything went digital, the pandemic made us realise the importance of digital connectivity and availability for all,” Vaishnaw added.