`Internet cos will have to follow law of the land`

The government today said it has no plans to censor the Internet.

New Delhi: The government today said it has no plans to censor the Internet even as it sought to send a strong message to social websites like Google and Facebook that any company wishing to operate in the country will have to follow law of the land.
The assertion comes amid growing unease among global website and social media companies over the government asking the social websites to ensure that uploading of derogatory material is stopped.

"We do not believe in censorship of any kind. All over the world, every company has to operate in accordance with the law. Any company wishing to operate in a country has to follow the law of the land," IT and Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar told reporters on the sidelines of an event.

He added that everyone is aware of technology and there is a need to develop some mechanism to abide by the law.

Recently, the Centre had filed a report in a court saying there was sufficient material to proceed against 21 websites, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, for alleged offences of promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration.

Advocate N K Kaul, appearing for Google India, had argued that "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".

However, the Delhi High Court judge Suresh Kait, hearing the case, 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.


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