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Microsoft, Google and Yahoo sued for foetus sex selection ads

Indian suit calls for sites to be blocked

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The Supreme Court of India has issued notices against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! for advertising products to select the sex of foetuses.

Sabu Mathew George filed the complaint against the three firms. He told the New York Times that the ads deliberately targeted Indian users. He told the paper 900,000 female foetuses are aborted every year in India. Modern techniques for checking the sex of foetuses, like ultrasound, are increasingly available to all classes in India.

Google said it had yet to receive the court papers but would review them carefully.

George said that activists had successfully stopped such products being advertised in Indian papers, but companies were increasingly advertising online. Indian telecoms and health ministries are also mentioned in the case for failing to take action earlier.

Indian law holds service providers responsible for content unless they can prove they were unaware of it, or that they had done their best to ensure such content was legal.

The case calls for the named sites to be blocked in India until they obey the law. ®

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