New Delhi: Government on Thursday said that it will evolve a consensus on rules for control of internet content after talking to various stakeholders including MPs and industry representatives.
This assurance was given by Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal in the Rajya Sabha after an opposition member moved a motion seeking annulment of rules aimed at regulating internet content notified by the government in April 2011.
The motion, moved by P Rajeeve (CPI-M), for annuling the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, was later defeated by a voice vote.
"My assurance to the House is that I will request the MPs to write letters to me objecting to any specific words. I will then call a meeting of the members as well as the industry and all stakeholders. We will have a discussion and whatever consensus emerges, we will implement it," Sibal said.
Justifying the rules, the minister said "these are sensitive issues" as most internet companies were registered abroad and not subjected to Indian laws.
Amid a raging row over the need for regulating internet content, a local court recently directed some internet giants to remove objectionable contents from Indian websites.
Rajeeve had said that the rules were ultra virus of the provisions of the parent IT Act and violated the freedom of speech and expression and demanded they be done away with.
Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley noted that it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone.
He urged the minister to "reconsider the language of restraints" to prevent its misuse.
He said he had no objection to the architecture of the Bill but felt "there is need for a balanced approach".