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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Google Gave Up Fighting Censorship In India

Searching giant Google has agreed to pull content from its Indian version of service, bowing to government pressure.

Judge Mukesh Kumar, of a New Delhi district court, has succeeded in putting pressure on the Internet giant to down controversial, allegedly inflammatory material. There was a civil suit filed by Ajiaz Arshad against a number of the large online players operating in India. The list includes Google, Facebook and Yahoo. The plaintiffs claimed that the material was religiously intolerant and would have potentially spiraled out of control, which could cause unrest, according to the local media reports.

The same reports indicate that different parts of the country are currently changing their mind about the way the web is being used. The organizations fighting against Internet filtering believe that going through the courts to take down the content on the Internet flies in the face of free speech.

In response, Google explained that the decision of the company to delete the material actually corresponds with its longstanding policy of responding to court orders. The giant pointed out that the users from the rest of the world may sleep peacefully – only services in India would be affected in this way. Nevertheless, many industry experts remember Google recently telling the courts that filtering the web is beyond it. Facebook, by the way, has still been using this line.

The discussion over Internet filtering has been lasting for a while now. In most cases it didn’t end up with a clear answer – the parties kept arguing that, instead worrying about civil unrest, powerful figures in India were upset about people openly criticizing such issues as corruption, bribery and nepotism.

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