On June 16, India woke up to reports of Twitter losing its legal protection and consequently being liable to face prosecution over users' posts because of its failure to comply with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021..But does the social media giant really lose legal immunity as a result of non-compliance with the Rules? Can the government take away the safe harbour provision guaranteed to intermediaries under the Information Technology Act?.To find out, Bar & Bench spoke with Centre for Communication Governance Digital Rights Fellow at Internet Freedom Foundation Krishnesh Bapat, who has been actively involved in litigation around the space of digital rights and media communication..In this interview, Bapat sheds light on how the situation can get worrisome for Twitter in case it does not comply with the IT Rules, and whether the government can take away its "legal shield."."In relation to multiple FIRs being registered, this is something we are likely to see if Twitter does not comply with the Rules. Whenever something seemingly unlawful is posted on Twitter, not only will that person be taken to court but also Twitter. Twitter will then face risk of being criminally prosecuted and there is a possibility that officials of Twitter gets convicted in those proceedings. In those proceedings the crucial question will be if Twitter has complied with the IT Rules," Bapat said..Bapat defines an "intermediary" as a conduit that allows two people to have a conversation with each other without interference.."Reports which state that Twitter has lost its intermediary status are incorrect. They are not based on the correct understanding of the Information Technology Act," Bapat clarifies..He also details the steps by which Twitter can face prosecution.This prosecution takes place when a person posts unlawful content, an FIR is registered against that person.Now Twitter can also be made a party and then court will look into whether Twitter has compiled with the obligations listed under the IT Rules, 2021.Twitter can say it has complied with Rules and thus it has safe harbour.Prosecution can very well argue that Twitter has not complied with IT Rules, and thus, it too should be criminally prosecuted. That's the link between IT Rules 2021 and Information Technology Act..Importantly, Bapat adds that none of the courts have stayed the implementation of the IT Rules, 2021 till now. Thus the question today really is what consequences Twitter will face for not complying with these Rules..The IFF lawyer has further cleared the air on how the IT Rules "do not contain anything" about revocation of intermediary status.."That is what the entire confusion is about. Intermediary is a technical qualification and not something which can be granted or revoked. Twitter is an intermediary and will remain so," says Bapat.