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Facebook, Google Argue Against Web Censorship In India 160

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook and Google told the Delhi High Court today they cannot block offensive content that appears on their services. The two Internet giants are among 21 companies that have been asked to develop a mechanism to block objectionable material in India, and the Indian government has given the green light for their prosecution. Although India is democratic (in fact, it's the world's largest democracy), many fear the country will resort to censorship."
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Facebook, Google Argue Against Web Censorship In India

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  • by webanish ( 1045264 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @01:32AM (#38721586) Journal
    An analysis here [firstpost.com] suggests that the target of Internet censorship was against political blasphemy rather than any generic web censorship. Its worse than a state trying to censor the web as consistent with their national policies; in this case the 'ruling government' is molding laws as it sees fit to its political advantages. Only one of the so called complaints by the ministers was deemed a national security threat.
  • by laird ( 2705 ) <lairdp@gmail . c om> on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @02:30AM (#38721844) Journal

    "Land of the free-est perhaps?"

    You need to travel more. Since 9/11 the US government is much more heavy-handed than the governments of most other countries, and social mobility here (i.e. you can work hard and succeed) is less than elsewhere. So while we like to think of ourselves as free men on the rugged frontier, the reality has changed.

  • Re:democratic eh? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:04AM (#38721992)

    Its working out pretty well for them.
    Today the many Chief Ministers (like Governors in US) and MPs (like senators in US) are from "untouchable" class which would not have been possible without "that democracy".

    Just so that you know, "Untouchable" in India could vote before blacks could vote in Home of the free.

  • by laird ( 2705 ) <lairdp@gmail . c om> on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @03:42AM (#38722124) Journal

    "American constitution atleast guarantees free speech with virtually no restrictions applied I believe"

    That's long gone. As an extreme example, look at how for the last several elections' political conventions all protesters were forced into "free speech zones" out of site of the convention attendees and the press (i.e. you have free speech, but only where nobody can hear you). And the police arrested thousands of people to get them off the streets, for the same reason. Of course, all of those people were then released, because they hadn't broken any laws, but only after the conventions were over and the press was gone.

    I'm not saying that the US is the most restrictive country - there are some that are much worse - but the constitutional rights have been heavily cut back in the last decade. Strangely, we had much stronger respect for civil rights when we were fighting the UK, the most powerful empire on the planet, than we do now, fighting a small number of desperate terrorists. George Washington, for example, expressly forbade torturing captured British soldiers, even though the British tortured captured American soldiers.

    "In 1776," wrote historian David Hackett Fischer in "Washington's Crossing," "American leaders believed it was not enough to win the war. They also had to win in a way that was consistent with the values of their society and the principles of their cause. One of their greatest achievements was to manage the war in a manner that was true to the expanding humanitarian ideals of the American Revolution."

    This commitment to our principles was how we won the war against a much larger, more powerful empire. Everywhere they went, pillaging, torturing and killing, they created more opposition. Or, as one of their soldiers wrong "Wherever our armies have marched, wherever they have encamped, every species of barbarity has been executed. We planted an irrevocable hatred wherever we went, which neither time nor measure will be able to eradicate."

    Our modern leaders have less foresight. But then, I'm sure that the British in 1776 thought that they were right, too.

    Rather than me quote the whole thing, go read it http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1217-30.htm [commondreams.org].

  • by priyank_bolia ( 1024411 ) on Tuesday January 17, 2012 @04:33AM (#38722330) Homepage
    I agree it isn't technologically feasible, but anyone in India have the right to file a case in court. But don't worry, the pace at which judgements are delivered in India, human would have abandoned the mother earth and we all would be governed by the Galactic Empire laws. :P Also I don't think Indian govt. has any wish to create the gr8 wall of India. But things are different here, you can publish a cartoon in Europe, burn some book in US, but in India, it would mean communal riots, and millions dead, so I guess its OK for the govt. to step in sometimes and take care of their little children.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson