"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Google bows to Internet Censorship in India

Freedom of Speech attacked in India.
Muslims demanded that the government of India force Google to censor content.  Google was "guilty" of daring to allow freedom of speech, letting people criticize Islam and the politicians of India.

Google becomes an agent for the Indian Government and removes "offensive" web-sites.
  • Indian government demanded that content be removed for "promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration."
  • A government minister asked Google to pre-screen content considered politically or religiously offensive.
  • "Like China, we can block all such websites that don't comply."

Governments all over the world live in FEAR that people will be able to see and hear the truth about the world around them.  The internet and freedom of information is being attacked everywhere.

Now the government of India is attacking the free flow of ideas and information.  Google India has agreed to take down Web pages considered offensive by Indian political and religious leaders, stoking censorship fears in the world's largest democracy.

The removal order announced Monday resulted from a court case and follows weeks of aggressive government pressure on 22 Internet giants to remove photographs, videos or text considered "anti-religious" or "anti-social." Warning that their sites might be blocked "like in China," a New Delhi judge gave Facebook, Google and the other sites two weeks to present further plans for policing their networks, according to Indian press reports.

A Google representative, speaking on condition of anonymity,  that while the company recently declined a request by a government minister to pre-screen content considered politically or religiously offensive, Google now faced a court order and had no choice but to follow it says the Mercury News.

Google would not release details about what content it had taken down or explain how it planned to respond to the government's demand for a self-policing action plan.

In India, officials have been incensed by material insulting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi and religious groups, including illustrations showing Singh and Gandhi in compromising positions and pigs running through Mecca, Islam's holiest city.

The government has warned it has evidence to prosecute the sites for offenses of "promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration."

According to press reports, Justice Suresh Kait told lawyers from Facebook India and Google that "if a contraband is found in your house, it is your liability to take action against it. Like China, we can block all such websites" that don't comply.

Prosecutors, who sued on behalf of a Muslim religious leader who accused companies of hosting pages that disparage Islam, said they would provide the companies with all relevant documents. The court gave the companies 15 more days to report back.
(San Jose Mercury News)

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