Indian government’s Internet censorship proposal to be reviewed: MP

The Indian government’s earlier proposal to control the Internet through a United Nations committee will now be reviewed through open public consultation.

Independent Rajya Sabha member from Bangalore, Rajeev Chandrashekar on Monday tweeted that the government has accepted his positino to review the proposal.

Earlier, the Indian government had proposed to control the Internet through a committee for internet related policies, a move that was widely critisized by advocates of Internet freedom.

The proposal is “inherently against the open, democratic, inclusive and unhindered growth of the Internet. It harms India’s reputation, has been submitted without a prior public consultation with multi-stakeholder groups, and therefore needs to be withdrawn,” Chandrashekar says on his website.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the member of parliament had said that the proposal has the potential of permanently altering the internet as we currently know it. raj

“Not only does it surrender the future of the next generation internet into the hands of government but also ties our hands and aligns us with countries with the worst possible track record of internet and media censorship, democracy, free speech, freedom of expression and privacy.” (Read the full letter here.)

The Indian government had also amended its Information Technology act last year, again coming under fire from Internet groups, activists and hacktivists. The amended act adopted last year held intermediary platforms such as Facebook, Google, Blogs and websites liable for readers comments on online articles, user videos, photos etc. Proponents of free speech criticized the law stating that it would curb free speech on the Internet and lead to un-necessary censorship.

Following widespread outrage among the internet users, hactivist group Anonymous took down prominent Indian websites including that of the ruling Congress party.


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