Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Online Censorship - Is it the right way forward?

It is unfortunate that the Govt of India is stooping to another level of new lows by wanting to curb the freedom of online users! Earlier when Kapil Sibal had made a public statement emphasizing the need for screening the social media,there was a huge uproar. Facebook and Twitter went berserk with morphs, funny quotes, caricature and more to express their dissent.

Internet is a free zone where one can exercise his views. To say, every content on the internet has to be screened for objectionable material is a foolish move. What remains objectionable to you may be my interest or even an area of research! It's much like Television viewership where the choice of program is left to the viewer's discretion. Not everything that comes on T.V is best suited for everyone still, we have learned to live with it. It is same with the Internet. Of course, Internet has more power and by trimming its tentacles, one cannot uproot it!

Screening content on Internet is not going to be practically possible. World over, many countries have tried enforcing censorship but the net savvy has always found a way around to voice their view. Would the Indian Govt then, like China impose cruel punishments inflicting pain & horror? The least we can do is; impose a law and we know how laws work in our country! It benefits the wrong doers more than the honest. Internet censorship laws can be so vulnerable that anyone can be easily held culpable by cooking up the plot!

The story of Indian diplomat's daughter wrongly held for online abuses.

Shouldn't we be employing our precious time on many more worthy issues that require immediate attention than Online Censorship? Sibal, What about the scams in the country?

The reason that Kapil quoted was the most hilarious! The Govt believes that there High command is being unnecessarily targeted and false rumors being spread through social media and it is damaging their good reputation. The concern of the Govt is never common; it is always their own. A leader's deeds and actions will always stand high above rumors. No leader has ever fallen due to the spread of rumors; A leader falls because his actions cannot stand up for his/her promises! If your High command is really honest and pure; nothing can really shake them. Truth will always prevail. An honest man is never scared of men who spread false news.

Instead of blocking content, your Govt should be trying to prove itself through its good performance! Why are you scared, if you have nothing to hide?

Today, the court notices to Google, Facebook are nothing but circumvented avenue taken up by the Govt! A litigation from a common man on objectionable content(Religious figures humiliated) allowed by Google, and Facebook is the start. The court is trying to be very hard on the Internet Giants but would the ordinary Netizen allow censorship? It is a camouflaged route to attack online freedom by raking up religious sentiments. One, people can't take a stand on religious issues and if they do, then you will be sidelined. What a strategy!?! When would this divide and rule end in India. It is really disappointing to see even after 60 years of Independence we go through the same crap!

On a day when Wikipedia is blacked out in protest of the SOPA bill in the U.S; it is important for us to understand the merits of free Internet and forge ahead. U.S is trying to curb the menace of Wikileaks through censorship and we in India are trying to curb common mans' freedom of expression. None of these is in the best interest of free speech! U.S should find a way to protect its data and India should try to come clean and run a corruption-free/less Govt!


DeEpAK KaRtHiK (420) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DeEpAK KaRtHiK (420) said...

i wish government must take some alternative steps,, offensive contents are indeed a black mark in freedom for speech, so it ought to be removed, better find a best way to remove them instead of blocking whole thing !
Brilliant post..
i miss wiki a lot now !
i can't imagine a day without google or wiki
well said !
freedom should not misused too :)
i wish government must make some alternatives to remove the offensive contents instead of blocking everything !
WIKI has been a tremendous support for students and everyone ! i miss it today :(

Binu Thomas said...

I agree with you Divya. However, the users of free internet should be more careful too. We are responsible for the content we post / share. There are people who abuses this responsibility. There are so many hate websites / pages on Facebook which should have been avoided.

Hariharan Valady said...

Screening content in internet is not possible. However freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution is subject to reasonable restrictions. What is reasonable is a million dollar question. Further since this idea is mooted by Kapil Sibal, we are forced to look at this with suspicion. I think over the next few days more clarity will come.

Divya said...

I agree with your opinion that more responsibility on our part is necessary but am never in favor of a controlled system to enforce responsibility! Responsibility is the onus of the individual and we see that in every walk of life where we misuse freedom entrusted on us. Is restriction the right approach? Both the publisher and viewer has equal responsibility in making Internet abuse free.

Divya said...

It is not just because of the Persona but also the reason cited to protect the political clan. There are so much more worse content that is available on the Internet that affects general viewer base.

I am becoming more & more cynical of the moves the Govt of India initiates! I sincerely hope that whatever is being done is done in the interest of the people!

Divya said...

Let's hope something good comes through this!

Bradz Blog said...

U.S should find a way to protect its data and India should try to come clean and run a corruption-free/less Govt!

Well said Divya. Freedom of speech is just not free anymore it comes with a cost to face consequences, a man who wanted to come out and tell to Public the details of account holders in Swiss Bank was prosecuted under the Swiss law, this is actually fine cause they had an arrangement made for a violation. But what arrangement does Indian or USA (The so called most liberal nation) government have when one does violate, actually what is theri meaning of vialotion, we are yet to know. Having said, any act to stop sharing free information shall be derogatory as the prime purpose of infromation itself is to be made known and not be kept secret under the wraps. A very well written blog and appreciate your lines very much.

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