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India Plans to Censor Google, Facebook and Everything On the Internet in the name of GOD (Indian SOPA?)


The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to quash a criminal complaint against Google and Facebook, related to inflammatory images of some Gods and Goddesses, warning websites to comply and devise a mechanism to control objectionable content.

“If a contraband is found in your house, it your liability to take action against it,” Justice Suresh Cait told lawyers from Facebook India and Google India. “Like China, we can block all such websites (who don’t comply). But let us not go to that situation,” he said in a packed courtroom.

“At present it’s obscene images of Gods and Goddesses, tomorrow it can be an image of someone in your family posted online. There has to be some control,” he told lawyers of Google India and Facebook India.

The Judge Suresh Cait denied Google’s argument as it is just a distributor of content is not responsible for what users post on the Internet, The Judge said Google is a ‘Beneficiary’ in this as it has business setup in India.

Both companies cited exemption from liability and said that they don’t control or administer the content on the websites but are 100% subsidiaries of the parent companies based in the US.

“We can’t even tell Google Inc, to upload or not upload a particular article. Google India is a completely different legal entity from Google Inc, which controls the platform,” Senior Lawyer Mukul Rohatgi representing Google India told the court.

Google and Facebook differed on whether the images and content cited was ‘obscene and objectionable’.

Lawyers for Facebook India did not agree some images of Gods and Goddesses were obscene, and in the Judge’s words even suggested them to be ‘informative’.

There is Millions of Content uploaded on the Internet and there is no practical method of controlling such content, Google Lawyers said.

After the Judge refused to stay proceedings or quash the criminal complaint, lawyers from Google India suggested that if the complainant cited specifically, it could request Google Inc, to remove the ‘objectionable’ weblinks from its websites.

Facebook and Google shifted the onus of monitoring obscene imagery online on to Internet Service Providers in India such as Bharti Airtel, BSNL and Reliance, saying that under their license conditions they are liable to block it.( Read our Last year’s article on how Internet Service providers can censor the Internet without being question here.)

Lawyers representing Google India also said that the section 79 of the Indian IT Act has granted protection to websites (like social networks) and tinkering with content would remove the protection they have been granted.

Cyber law expert Pavan Duggal differs. “Under section 79, the websites are duty bound to take suo moto action and remove such content if they obtain its knowledge. Thus websites can’t go scot-free if they obtain such knowledge,” Duggal adds. The Indian IT Act applies to any entity in the world whose services impact a computer system in India, Duggal adds.

-Economic Times

This could be what china does in their Country where you can’t use Google as they refused to be censored, or this could be what USA and Spain are trying to do with the new SOPA law they are trying to Implement in their Country.