Google India, which along with 20 websites is facing criminal case for allegedly hosting objectionable materials. Delhi high court Justice Suresh Kait had warned Google India and social networking site Facebook India that websites can be “blocked” like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove objectionable material from their web pages.Responding to the courts remark, Kaul referred to media reports on the issue saying “they reports suggest the existence of the right freedom of speech.
In response advocate N K Kaul, appearing for Google India, told Justice Kait that blocking them was not an option as democratic India is not a “totalitarian” regime like China. As quoted:”The issue relates to a constitutional issue of freedom of speech and expression and suppressing it was not possible as the right to freedom of speech in democratic India separates us from a totalitarian regime like China.”
Initiating arguments, Kaul said internet is a global system which have billions of users that also included companies, private persons and the governments and their departments.He filed a representation in the court and said an online search for a word like “virgin” has 82.30 crore search results within 0.33 seconds and the idea of blocking a word like this would deprive net-users the required information.
“The queries could relate to Virgin Airlines or for that matter virgin areas for inventions, he said.Seeking quashing of the summons issued against the firm by a lower court, he said Google India is neither a search engine nor a web hosting site and was a distinct legal entity from its US-based holding company Google Inc, a search engine.”No criminal liability can be fastened on Google India,” he said.
This sounds more of a threat than appeal to me, as being the biggest democracy of the world still we have never advocated obstinacy and porn in the country. Google played on its most weakest cards,ignoring the issue that what ever the political scenario may be but china officially banned Google on the point of web distribution of illicit and inappropriate content , and thus it could not be used as an argument even in Liberal Democracy of India.
Content filtering is important to keep the cultural norms of the country ,and when Google can boast about the Location-centric features then it also has to take the reprehensibility to feature content in respect to the cultural and constitutional constrains.
- India is not China, says Google India (thehindu.com)