December 6th, 2011
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Kapil to screen social networking sites

kapil-sibilNew Delhi: The government of India has decided to screen objectionable content and chalk out a code of conduct for the social media networks and other websites. Communications & IT minister Kapil Sibal reiterated that though the government was against censorship, it was essential to have separated laws as US laws and community standards could not be applied in India.

IT ministry insisted that the terms should be in line with Indian community standards so that they do not offend local sensitivities. He stated that the country could not remain mute spectator to “objectionable” content that hurt religious sentiments or “maligned” an individual’s identity.

“We have to take care of the sensibilities of our people. Cultural ethos is very important to us,” Sibal told at a press conference held at his residence. With the legal process expected to take a while, the code of conduct may contain provisions that stipulate heavy penalty for websites that put out “offensive” material, sources added.

He also stated that he had been left with no choice after the companies refused to delete incendiary hate speech published on their social networking sites. The reasons as to why the country could not merely prosecute individuals instead of blocking sites are- that most individuals who post material are overseas and beyond the grasp of Indian laws, internet companies refuse to disclose information of the miscreants as they claim it’s against their country’s norms, and each time such matter is subjected to legal proceedings there shall be protests, mobs violence and the like.


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