Kapil Sibal – the Minister of Communications and Information Technology – is back with his banter of policing the social networking sites. In his list are 21 internet firms, including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, YouTube and Yahoo!, and they should be prosecuted for allowing online freedom of speech.
The move comes after Kapil Sibal’s earlier effort to police the social media content was thwarted by the representatives of the social media organizations. Sibal has given the Delhi Police authority to prosecute the firms. The announcement comes after a Delhi-based journalist filed a report against the social networking sites citing criminal offences ranging from distribution of adult content to furthering outrageous religious views.
Some other companies in the list are – Facebook India, Google India, Orkut, BlogSpot India, BlogSpot, Orkut India, Yahoo! India, Microsoft India, Zombie Time, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog, Topix, Board Reader and Exboii.
Responding to this impending threat, a Google senior official says:
This is against the freedom of speech on the web. We have told the government we cannot monitor each content over the Net. The government has to come up with clear guidelines first.
Court Summons Sent in 2011
It is clear now that the court summons were originally sent in December 2011 to the aforementioned internet companies but a number of them did not reply, which I think is a clear case of neglect. Even if they do not want to comply with the new amendment, they should have at least sent a courtesy response.
What Vinay Rai says?
Vinay Rai is the Delhi based journalist who filed the case against the internet companies. He says:
What we are hoping is that finally they will bring down all the objectionable content. But it is as important for the government to come up with a mechanism to stop these things, which attack the very nation itself, from being put on the Internet.
What are they against?
A similar appeal was filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi some time back where he objected against the flourishing regressive content online in the form of text, images and videos, especially against the Indian politicians.
In the report submitted by Sibal’s IT ministry, they clarify that the “contents are provocative, assertive, and propagate prejudicial to national integration”.
Is monitoring the internet possible?
Unless you contact each and every Indian internet user with a personal guide on “how to behave on the internet”, it is fairly impossible and impractical to monitor online content.
….and I sincerely hope that Indian online media does not replicate its Chinese counterparts. We all know how China has banned most of the above indicated Internet giants and created their own internet monopoly.