Twitter denied Union electronics and information technology (IT) minister Ravi Shankar Prasad access to his own account on the micro-blogging site for an hour on Friday.

The news has been confirmed by Union IT minister Prasad at 3.42 pm on Friday on his Twitter handle.

Prasad tweeted that his account was locked on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA.

He said Twitter subsequently did not allow him to access his account.

“Friends! Something highly peculiar happened today. Twitter denied access to my account for almost an hour on the alleged ground that there was a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of the USA and subsequently they allowed me to access the account,” Prasad tweeted.

In a notice to the Union IT minister, Twitter said: “Your account has been locked because Twitter received a compliant Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Notice for content posted to your Twitter account.”

“Under the DMCA, copyright owners can notify Twitter claiming that a user has infringed their copyrighted works. Upon receipt of a valid DMCA notice, Twitter will remove the identified material.”

“Twitter maintains a repeat copyright infringer policy under which repeat infringer accounts will be suspended. Accruing multiple DMCA strikes may lead to suspension of your account. What you can do: To unlock your account, you must review Twitter’s Copyright Policy,” the notice said.

However, Twitter unlocked the account of the IT minister Prasad after an hour.

Informing Prasad about the unlocking of his account, Twitter said: Your account is now available for use.”

But the American microblogging site threatened the Union IT minister that his account may be locked again and “potentially” suspended if any additional notices are served against his account in future.

“Please be aware that any additional notices against your account may result in your account being locked again and potentially suspended,” Twitter wrote.

Twitter has asked Prasad not to post additional material in violation of their Copyright Policy and immediately remove any material from his account to avoid further notices.

“In order to avoid this, do not post additional material in violation of our Copyright Policy and immediately remove any material from your account for which you are not authorized to post,” Twitter wrote.

Since the new IT Rules have come into effect, Union minister Prasad has given interviews to a number of TV channels explaining the new rules.

He has criticised Twitter for not complying with the new IT Rules in those interviews.

Prasad continues to post clips of his TV interviews from his Twitter account.

Criticising Twitter’s action of locking his account, Union minister Prasad said it indicates that Twitter is not the “harbinger of free speech”

“Twitter’s actions indicate that they are not the harbinger of free speech that they claim to be but are only interested in running their own agenda, with the threat that if you do not tow the line they draw, they will arbitrarily remove you from their platform,” Prasad tweeted.

“No matter what any platform does they will have to abide by the new IT Rules fully and there shall be no compromise on that,” he added.

It is reported that Twitter has not been very comfortable with the posts criticising Twitter for non-compliance with the IT Rules and hence it threatened the IT minister by denying access to his account for about an hour for alleged violation of copyright law of the USA.

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