Internet companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are facing a tough litigious future in India, a country where recent incidents of violent crimes against women has prompted certain groups to demand bans on Internet pornography and policing of the web.
A court in Tamil Nadu has issued a notice to search Giant Google and the Computer Emergency Response Team of India based on a complaint by an Internet user that the website was suggesting pornography whenever people search for Hotmail.
Coimbatore based software engineer C Ashok Kumar complained to the court that when he searched for Hotmail on Google, he was being shown explicit content, a daily newspaper reported.
“As soon as I typed HOT, the search engine started showing links to abusive contents and pornographic videos,” he said. “Even at my home, several children are using the internet for completing home work and online-competitive tests. They will be misguided by the search suggestions leading to abusive contents.” (source)
The case will be considered by the court on June 7.
This comes at a time when a plea at the Supreme Court of India is seeking to ban porn sites on the Internet. Indore based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani has filed a petition saying that watching porn on the Internet is one of the main reasons for rising crime against women in the country.
Last month, the Supreme Court sought responses from the government on the plea.
Litigation about minors on Facebook
In a separate incident last week, acting on a petition filed by K N Govindacharya, former BJP ideologue, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the government asking them how they could allow children below 18 years of age to sign up for social media sites like Facebook and Google+.
Blast from the past
Last year, after Delhi High court’s judgment (“Like China, we will block all such websites”– Indian Government to Google and Facebook), Indian government has given a nod to prosecute Google, Facebook, Yahoo and 18 other sites for allegedly promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration.
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