India to Oppose International Framework for Net Censorship

According to Hindustan Times, today India would be looking to oppose the any form of internet governance rules set up under the UN.

Internet censorship already exists in many countries, in which many social networks, YouTube and search engines fine themselves blocked in countries.

But ITU’s plans are to take such censorship further in laying down rules for content published on the internet across the world. In effect it would take over all authority from ICANN and give itself censorship powers. ICANN itself does not do any content regulation and more or less confines itself to technical standardization.

The big supporters of the creating new internet governance rules at the UN are not surprisingly Russia and China along with few more countries. Some of these rules will also include issues of tariffs applied by governments on certain sites along with handing over registration of country specific domains like to the governments rather than ICANN.

The UN sponsored summit called World Conference in International Telecommunications at Dubai next month, where talks on setting up internet governance will be held between countries.

India’s flirtation with Net Censorship!

The government in India has not necessarily brought about heavy handed net censorship like that of China. But many internet users are worried with rising number of content removal requests from government agencies. Indian government in the past had actually recommended manual screening of content on social media sites. NGOs and activists have also held protests against rising cases of net censorship in India.

But it a relief to see India not on the side of countries like Russia and China on issues of regulating content on the internet.

Who else is opposing Net Censorship?

Not surprising one of the biggest opposition to ITU’s plans is from the search giant Google. Google owns YouTube which is a favorite target of many countries which try to crack down on internet freedom.

Would you support content regulation by the UN? Do drop in your comments and views.


Alex Morris November 28, 2012

Regulating content is important in some aspects. On YouTube, for istance, there are a number of idiotic Holocaust Denial videos which should have been removed long ago by YouTube. Even if you complain about the clip they don’t remove it. There’s Freedom of Speech and then there’s stupidity. Obviously China, Iran et al (who entirely block YouTube, Facebook etc.) take it too far. I think it’s already under way, as in England you can now get jailed for posting offensive Tweets or through using Facebook to voice your intended actions. I think it’s wise; just as you’re online it shouldn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Just be constructive, ethical, and intelligent; how all people should go about their day to day life anyway.

Aditya Kane November 28, 2012

@Alex: I disagree that regulating content is important and that people should be jailed for posting something offensive. What really is offensive can actually change very quickly and almost anything can be deemed offensive. Being “idiotic” or “stupid” ideally should not be a criminal offence.