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India Moves To Censor Social Media 171

An anonymous reader writes "India's Telecoms minister has prompted an uproar after it was revealed he met with executives from Google and Facebook to pressure them into screening 'objectionable' content. Critics argue it is a dangerous step down China's censorship path. 'He denied such a demand was censorship. There is some content on the Internet that "any normal human being would be offended by," he said. The government has asked social media companies to develop a way to eliminate offensive content as soon as it is created, no matter what country it is created in, he said.'
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India Moves To Censor Social Media

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  • But it fails (Score:2, Insightful)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @07:53PM (#38286372) Homepage Journal

    The real story is this: India Moves TO Censor Social Media ... but it fails in the face of /. dupes./a. [slashdot.org]

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @07:56PM (#38286394) Homepage Journal
    The only route that is left to us at this point. in all countries, around entire world. we the people should just ignore those would-be controllers.
  • Silencing Dissent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Das Auge ( 597142 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:01PM (#38286450)
    Silencing dissent... Yet another American "job" getting outsourced.

    I jest, but it's not like the US (where I was born and live) hasn't tried this sort of thing. The Internet kill switch, taking down sites without due process, and the need to filter the whole country.

    This sort of shit needs to stop. Which will only happen when the government is "for the people" again, and not "for the corporations."
  • Typical politician (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:03PM (#38286474) Homepage Journal

    Mr. Sibal also said there were images of Congress party personnel that were ‘ex facie objectionable.’”

    Unfortunately a politician's view of "objectionable" is usually what the general population of their countries calls "political satire" or a "joke".

    Which isn't surprising, seeing as these kind of censorship attempts are a joke in and of themselves.

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh ( 1273756 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:06PM (#38286506)

    I'm offended people like him come to power.

    But that is the exact sort of character that democratic systems allow into power. The world wide, elections are won by those who are charasmatic, say the right things on camera and during conferences - then once they are in office, all of their "true" goals come to light as they try to keep themselves in power. I don't want to Godwin this thread, but have a look at this democratic election in 1932 [wikipedia.org] and have a look at how people were misguided into who and what they voted for.

  • Offensive content? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:13PM (#38286572) Homepage

    There is some content on the Internet that "any normal human being would be offended by," he said.

    I can't say I've ever seen content that I was offended by, aside from something directed at me personally, and I certainly can't think of any content that every normal human being would be offended by. Disgusted, sure. Saddened, disappointed, startled, but not offended.

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:16PM (#38286590) Journal

    ..any normal human being

    And who, exactly, gets to decide what a "normal" human being is, and what this mythical alleged "normal" human being would consider "offensive" or "non-offensive"? What's next for this jackass? Is he going to "decide" what is and is not art? *facepalm*

  • by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:18PM (#38286618) Journal

    If "Democracy" is so good, so perfect, why can't the Indians elect someone with more integrity?

  • by dhavleak ( 912889 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:26PM (#38286674)
    I'd draw a small distinction between a country itself and the idiots running it. But this guy is one prize moron for sure.
  • Re:I'm offended (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @08:57PM (#38286908)
    Sorry, the correct answer to 1 through 7 is yes. If it was no, we'd be libertarians or libertards.
  • by wdef ( 1050680 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @09:00PM (#38286932)

    .. the first things that the Nazis did when they took power in 1933 were to abolish all democratic institutions, i.e. they didn't have any more elections, the parliament didn't debate issues, there was no more independent judicial system, free speech was destroyed, the free press was abolished, and every institution of society was subordinated under Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy.

    This is exactly what some of our "democratic" governments would like to do. However, they have more subtle and clever ways of subverting democracy that are far more effective.

  • by wdef ( 1050680 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @09:15PM (#38287026)

    .. maybe one day they'll come to their own senses of whether or not they enjoy freedoms when accessing networks ...

    I cite the boiling frog meme. This is not the way to defend freedoms. If people sit around letting it happen, they will awake ome day as slaves.

  • by identity0 ( 77976 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @09:24PM (#38287084) Journal

    If military coups are so good, why is Pakistan such a hotbed of terrorism and nuclear proliferation?

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @09:51PM (#38287186)

    Obviously this happens because people are generally stupid (don't take it as a flamebait, it's just an observation), and people vote for those, who promise them something regardless of long term consequences.

    What do you expect? They're government educated by a system that is more concerned about not hurting anyone's feelings than it is with things like dialectic, critical thinking, and instilling intellectual independence. Most are far too passive (something promoted in the media by repeated example) to recognize this as a problem on their own and educate themselves despite the Information Age. This page [cantrip.org] sums it up nicely. The "lesson of dependency" is the hinge on which all the others rest.

    I'll highlight the most glaring stupidity of this proposal, the unspoken and unacknowledged aspect it deliberately ignores.

    There is some content on the Internet that "any normal human being would be offended by," he said.

    ... that you almost definitely won't see unless you are looking for it. It reminds me of people who call up a talk show to tell the host how much they hate him, his views, and his show ... yet they're quite familiar with all of it. You'd think a person would go with one of the multitude of other choices and listen to something other than whatever he finds offensive, but that would mean having nothing to bitch about. Nothing to bitch about would mean being denied their five minutes of climbing up on their high horse and feeling superior to someone else while they pontificate against them. This is very important to nothing human beings with no real sense of purpose in their lives and would be a great loss to them.

    There are things I don't like so I don't watch them, listen to them, read them, etc, but it never occurs to me to feel offended. I don't get any pleasure or satisfaction from trying to force my will on others because I'm not an insecure fevered ego. If I were, I'd feel a sacred duty to work on fixing it while never making it someone else's problem. So, the fact that I don't enjoy something doesn't make me feel like no one else should (assuming it's just a matter of taste -- i.e. I don't feel that way about armed robbery -- since some of you are childish and jump all over every little thing not spelled out for you).

    "I'm offended!" is a covert and thus cowardly way of saying "therefore, you should yield to me and change it to accommodate my tastes". It's an emotional appeal unconsciously designed to conceal a desire to control. The people who want to control others using this method are far too timid to try gaining any kind of domination or power to get what they want, so they go for the pity appeal instead. They try to gain the sympathy of someone who already has power or authority and by proxy obtain the control they desire. If they are thwarted, they accuse the authority of being insensitive and try to ridicule or shame (i.e. manipulate) them into doing their will.

    The minority who weren't looking for "offensive" material and saw it anyway were duped by crapflooders, goatse trolls and the like. These are the same disruptive types who aren't going to respect censorship laws. They would view them as a challenge. If anything, using Tor or some other international, jurisdiction-crossing proxy to evade censorship would only add to their thrill.

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @10:46PM (#38287512)

    1. Is it a correct thing to allow interpretation of Constitution?


    The correct long term answer to items 1-7 is always a 'no', it cannot be a 'yes' under any circumstances

    ...which means you have a constitution that states things so precisely that it's impossible to draw more than one conclusion about what anything it says means. Do you have an example of such a constitution? (Hint: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries" is not part of such a constitution - what's a "limited Time"? This is not, BTW, an idle question, given, for example, various Acts of Congress that keep extending the lifetime of copyrights.)

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:23PM (#38287708)

    1. Is it a correct thing to allow interpretation of Constitution?

    No, there is already a mechanism for it. If it's broke, amend it.

    2. Is it a correct thing to allow the government live on debt?

    No, debt has to be paid eventually otherwise it's theft, not borrowing.

    3. Is it a correct thing to allow the government control money supply and cost?

    Obviously yes; by definition money is a government construct, it exists by law otherwise business would mint their own cash or we'd barter. [Fiat currency is fiat because you can use it to pay tax, that's what makes it special compared to an "IOU"]

    4. Is it a correct thing to give the government power to insure people in any way (from deposit insurance to health and retirement)?

    This is a gray question, it depends on the person. Either system is sustainable though guaranteed safety nets tend to make places more pleasant in the highly probable event something goes wrong.

    5. Is it a correct thing to give the government power to tax people's incomes?

    Yes, automatically follows 3.

    6. Is it a correct thing to give government power to provide security against criminal activity by diminishing individual liberties?

    No, reducing liberty and privacy to prevent crime is also known as pre-crime. i.e. trying to arrest people because they might have been thinking about doing something illegal. Police and the court system exist to mediate disputes when they occur, not outright prevent everything before it happens. (liberty or absolute safety, pick one).

    7. Is it a correct thing to allow government regulate business?

    Yes, businesses are government constructs that exist by law, they rely on other laws like contract law (employment, supply deals, etc) as well so are, by definition, government regulated (only legal contracts are enforceable, guess who decides what is legal). Businesses which exist outside this system are called Organized Crime Syndicates (eg. Mafia) which have their own private police (enforcers) who carry out sentences (kill you) for breaking company by-laws. It's interesting that the government-free business construct (OCS) ends up looking like a government and business rolled into one (fascist state).

    The correct long term answer to items 1-7 is always a 'no', it cannot be a 'yes' under any circumstances, but that's the long term thinking.

    I suppose, if you were prone to short term thinking about what is good for you personally right now without regard for anyone else or the long-term consequences, then "no" for everything makes sense. Other people who know anything about history, law, economics and logic might not feel the same way.

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2011 @11:35PM (#38287764) Homepage

    1. Is it a correct thing to allow interpretation of Constitution?

    Yes. The societal context in which the Constitution is viewed changes, as do the very meanings of words (such an "insure" in the preamble to the Constitution, which now relates almost exclusively to financial matters). As an example, consider the curtailing of "free speech" to exclude speech which causes "imminent lawless action". Falsely warning about a bomb in a crowded building is extremely likely to cause assault, theft, and vandalism as people try to escape. Merely advocating illegal behavior at an indeterminate time in the future is not imminent, and is thus not prohibited. There are, of course, other laws that can affect how speech may be presented. You can not abuse or harass others with your ideas, for example. In my opinion, nobody should have a Constitutionally-protected right to be a jackass.

    2. Is it a correct thing to allow the government live on debt?

    Yes, more or less. First, a large portion of the government's debt is long-term obligations that are not yet fully funded, nor expected to be. If the government has said it will pay several million dollars for a new fighter jet over the next 20 years, that full several-million dollar figure is counted as debt, even though only a small part of it is actually due now. Planning for future expenses is a reasonable thing to do, no? Another large portion of debt is a financial device to free up quantities of money for other uses. More on that shortly.

    3. Is it a correct thing to allow the government control money supply and cost?

    Yes, when necessary. The government acts (financially) as a large single entity, so if anyone's going to control the money supply, it's going to be the government. Is that control really necessary, though?

    According to modern monetary theory, the answer is again "yes". A strong economy is one where money moves freely and quickly, and everyone gets what they want. In other words, "to each according to his need". When the government adds money to the economy through the Federal Reserve Bank, it also adds an equal amount of debt. Increasing the monetary supply allows the public to have more money to spend immediately, with the knowledge that said money will disappear again shortly. It enables a strong economy to be built (or rebuilt), and when the economy is running again, the money supply can be reduced gradually to improve efficiency and reduce the effects of inflation.

    There is a riddle about a man dying, leaving his 19 horses to be divided among his three sons, with the eldest receiving half, the middle receiving one fourth, and the youngest receiving one fifth. After trying for several days to figure out how to divide a horse, the local wise man came and brought his own horse, adding it to the pool. The eldest received 10, the middle received 5, and the youngest received 4. The wise man then took his horse and left.

    The economy works similarly. With the temporary addition of money, transactions can be processed faster and easier, and operations can go more smoothly. The rapid response of the Federal Reserve Bank reduces the effect of recessions, and speeds recovery.

    4. Is it a correct thing to give the government power to insure people in any way (from deposit insurance to health and retirement)?

    Yes, when it's a matter that will "insure domestic Tranquility" and "promote the general Welfare".

    Deposit insurance reduces the effect of bank runs. Before 1933, when a bank was in danger of closing, customers would rush to get their money out, before it became lost in the disappearing bank. Since banks can't keep all of their holdings on hand at once, some people would inevitably lose their savings. Now, there is no need to make that rush to withdraw, because even if banks are closed, the money is protected. Less damage from bank runs means the banks keep more money available, are are less likely to

  • Re:I'm offended (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Skidborg ( 1585365 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @01:38AM (#38288284)
    That's the thing though. I'm reading it literally. If taken at face value, your statement would, in fact, make a country completely inoperable.

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