• 10 tips to find bargains

    Susan Erasmus gives advice on how bargain hunters can get the most bang for their buck.

  • Inside Labour

    Labour's bitter breaches need to be seen in historical context, says Terry Bell.

  • Rich getting richer

    Economists differ on how to tackle the chasm between rich and poor, says Leopold Scholtz.

See More

India warns web giants about tighter controls

Jan 13 2012 13:46 Reuters

Related Articles

India lifts some FDI restrictions in retail

Asian factory output stays weak

India's rupee at record low against dollar

India cuts growth forecast, warns on deficit

Indian rupee sinks against dollar

Indian PM sets sights on 10% growth

New Delhi - Internet giants including Google and Facebook are embroiled in a growing battle in India over offensive content with a judge warning websites may be blocked “like in China”, stoking worries about freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy.

The Delhi High Court resumes a hearing on Monday of an appeal by Google, Facebook and others against a lower court case by a private petitioner seeking to remove images considered offensive to Hindus, Muslims and Christians from websites.

“The lower court gave a ruling asking the companies to take down some content, we appealed that ruling and it is in the higher court,” said a Google spokesperson in India on Friday.

A law passed last year in India makes companies responsible for user content posted on their websites, requiring them to take it down within 36 hours in case of a complaint. The lower court affirmed the law last week.

“If a contraband is found in your house, it (is) your liability to take action against it,” Justice Suresh Kait told lawyers from Facebook India and Google India on Thursday, according to the Economic Times newspaper.

“Like China, we can block all such websites (that don’t comply). But let us not go to that situation.”

Less than 10% of India’s 1.2 billion people have internet access, though the connected population is rapidly growing through social media tools on cellphones, bringing many into contact for the first time with images intended to offend.

More than 880 million people have cellphones in India, but more expensive internet-capable 3G models are out of reach for many.

Civil rights groups opposed the laws, but politicians say posting offensive images in the socially conservative country with a history of violence between religious groups presents a danger to the public as internet use grows.

In December, Telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal weighed into the debate, urging Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to remove offensive material.

Despite rules to remove offensive content, India’s internet access is still largely free when compared with the tight controls in fellow Asian economic powerhouse China.

The India units of Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft declined to comment.

Lawyers for the companies appeared in the lower court on Friday, but the judge adjourned the proceedings until March, Vinay Rai, the petitioner, told Reuters by phone.



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

Brought to you by BizNews

More from BizNews

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!


Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How do you see your boss? He/sheis:

Previous results · Suggest a vote