According to source, Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the Indian government to contest some of its takedown orders, ratcheting up the tense relations between Washington and New Delhi. Twitter claims in its complaint, which was submitted to the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday, that New Delhi abused its authority by demanding the removal of many posts from its platform. The lawsuit comes after a difficult year and a half for Twitter in India, a significant international market for the company. There, it was asked to remove hundreds of accounts and tweets, many of which, according to detractors, were blocked because they criticised the policies of the Indian government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Twitter has tried to fend off many of the objections while partially complying with the requests. Twitter has very limited room to individually fight the takedown orders under India’s new IT regulations, which took effect last year.

On May 24 of last year, Delhi police, under the control of India’s central government, visited two Twitter offices in Gurgaon, in the neighbouring state of Haryana, to learn more about Twitter’s justification for labelling one of the tweets by a spokesperson for the ruling partially BJP as “manipulated media.”The head of Twitter India was served with a notice of the investigation by Delhi police, who claimed to have received a complaint regarding the classification of the spokesperson’s tweet. The managing director of Twitter India’s responses on the matter, according to a statement from the police, were “extremely vague.” At the time, Twitter referred to the incident as “intimidation.” The company has “concerns with regards to the use of intimidation tactics by the police in response to enforcement of our global Terms of Service, as well as with core elements of the new IT Rules,” it said.

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