Feeds

India threatens to block Google, Facebook and chums

Court orders filtering of offensive stuff - 'like in China'

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Google, Facebook and other internet companies have been warned by India's High Court that their websites could be blocked if they fail to remove "offensive, objectionable" content from their sites.

The Delhi High Court told representatives from Facebook and Google yesterday that the firms "must have a stringent check" in place to help prevent supposedly offensive material from being published on their networks.

"Otherwise, like in China, we may pass orders banning all such websites," said the court.

Summons were issued to Facebook, Google and 10 other foreign-based companies, according to a report from Press Trust of India.

Web biz bosses were told to appear before the Delhi court on 13 March to face criminal charges for allegedly hosting objectionable material on their sites. India's ministry of external affairs was asked to serve the summons on the companies.

Microsoft, Yahoo! and YouTube, which is owned by Google, were also cited in the hearing, which followed a private complaint filed in a lower court by Vinay Rai - a journalist who alleged that Google et al were publishing ghastly material.

"The accused are allowed exemption for today only but are directed to appear in person on the next date of hearing without fail," the court magistrate reportedly said.

Last month, Indian officials asked internet firms to get rid of content they considered to be offensive, following discussion with execs from Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Microsoft about moderating stuff online.

At the time, India's minister of communications and information technology, Kapil Sibal, denied that the demand amounted to censorship and instead claimed that the world's largest democracy with a population of 1.2 billion needed to protect the "sensibilities of our people". Sibal provided various examples of "unacceptable" content: faked naked pictures of Indian political leaders and religiously sensitive images.

The Register requested comment from Google and Facebook, but neither company had responded with a statement at time of writing. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.