back to article India threatens to block Google, Facebook and chums

Google, Facebook and other internet companies have been warned by India's High Court that their websites could be blocked if they fail to remove "offensive, objectionable" content from their sites. The Delhi High Court told representatives from Facebook and Google yesterday that the firms "must have a stringent check" in place …


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  1. ForthIsNotDead
    Thumb Down

    Define "ojectionable"

    Depends what their definition of objectionable is, doesn't is?

    I mean, pr0n or just stuff that the government doesn't agree with? Like anti government blogs, etc...

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      I recon they really want to ban certain episodes of Top Gear

    2. L1feless

      I agree...

      Personally I think if that type of content is such a big deal then the current government should make it illegal. If that type of content is NOT illegal and the government does not want to make it so then shut up about it. The best way to fight alternative or opposite opinions is by encouraging free speech. Censorship is never the answer.

      1. ThatHairyCanadian


        You mean there'll be no more surfing all those Indian based porn sites anymore?

        Seriously, mend your own end of the system first - I say.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      that we subsidise India to the tune of billions, where they have nuclear weapons, a caste system that would be deemed racist here and the majority live in abject poverty.

      Yet they are a rich country.

      That is what I call questionable.

  2. GrumpyJoe


    in a global system is a hard one to define - they are basically telling global businesses that things they are fine in their founding countries are not in others - but the Internet transcends borders.

    Be interesting how this pans out - whether free speech is more powerful to these sites that the money available in these markets...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Indian journos for cencorship?

    Yes, India is a bloody large country. Why they feel the need to turn into China, though, is a bit beyond me. Even in a small country you can't please everyone, so why bother at all? You are free to not go there and refrain from looking at things you know would offend you. The Chinese very clearly do it to keep hold of their power. What do the Indians do it for? Are they not, in fact, actually democratic?

    1. Figgus

      The US is ostensibly democratic too, but there is still quite a bit of censorship here (usually followed by "FOR THE CHILDREN" or somesuch).

      Remember the fervor over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction? The worst thing about that wasn't that people saw a tit on TV, it's that it was an old nasty dried up tit on TV. Certainly not the sort of tit I'd want my kids to see...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Don't suppose you want to mention in the article exactly what they found questionable, or would that be a touch too much to expect on a Friday?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Optional

      Fair question, answered in the news wire copy but since embedded into the article: the government minister said stuff like faked naked pictures of Indian political leaders and religiously sensitive images are "unacceptable".


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So basically political and religious satire and lampooning criticism.

        Yay, democracy!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      According to The New Age

      According to this:

      "He provided examples of faked naked pictures of Indian political leaders and religiously sensitive images."

      Meh, so basically what the net seemed full of in the late 90s :-0

    3. L1feless


      the first example which was given was fake nude photos of politicians. I will not pretend to know Indian laws. I am not sure if that sort of imagery or manipulation is illegal. If it is then it is not offensive content it is ILLEGAL content and as such should be remove on that premise and that premise alone.

      The other content mentioned was anti-religion or religious parodies. Again...if that type of content is ILLEGAL then remove it on that premise and that premise alone. Just because a group of people find that offensive is no reason to remove it, their is obviously another group who don't. So if I find that religion in general is offensive (but not illegal) should I then be allowed to have all religious content removed? (the answer is no) opinions and beliefs are just that so if the government chooses to censor content to try and push or lean the general population in a certain direction then call a duck a duck (that last comment didn't offend anyone did it?).

  5. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Oh dear. I don't think this can end well for either side.

  6. PJahn


    I found the scenes of widespread poverty on the streets of Mumbai objectional. Perhaps the government should focus their efforts to feeding and providing shelter for the millions of homeless families instead of trying to censor their population against Beyonce videos on Youtube.

    Also, as the "world's largest democracy" what percentage of the population actually has access to the internet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They can't do that

      They're too busy with their space programme

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Oh, the irony....

    ...India is full of religious buildings covered in carvings depicting men fucking women, humans fucking animals and so on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wonder if these images would be found objectionable?

      And...can you post some Google Streetview links to these historical religious works?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And elephants with 8 arms

      What kind of drugs were they on?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The good ones.

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Power moving east?

    Forget all the arguments about censorship, or freedom. What we have here is another example of the most populous countries in the world recognising that they have power: both political and commercial - and exercising it.

    Whether the "objectionable" material the Indian government is objecting to (surely de facto, if they object to it, that alone makes it objectionable?) is political in nature, religious, cultural or illegal is less of an issue. We already live in a world where a self-appointed copyright guardian in one country has given itself the right to dictate to everyone on the planet what they may or may not show, stream, upload or view. That's got to be a far less legitimate use of power than for an elected body to require similar controls within its own borders.

    Let's fix the mote in our own eye first.

  9. Lamont Cranston

    "India's minister of information technology, denied that the demand amounted to censorship"

    In other news, I have a house-trained bear, and the Pope is a Hindu.

  10. Why Not?

    encourage it

    Ban Google most of the Indian consultancies would close in a week.

    Win all round.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They would have to change their search engine to Bing. Hmmm, maybe that still won't help the Indian consultants....

  11. Khaptain Silver badge

    I'd be worried too

    If I were in the Indian government I think I would be worried that the sheeple decided to have their own "Indian Spring".

    The Indian government is actually trying to defend itself against democracy.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let 'em do it

    I say, let them do it. It would be cutting their nose off to spite their face and their population would soon tell their government where to stick their nannying. (I hope)

  13. NoneSuch Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Enter the Thought Police...

    Any populace that allows a government to dictate what they can see, read or hear should be put in a field and treated like the sheep herd they deserve.

    1. Roger Mew


      Oh so the UK and the US fall into those categories.

      1. TimeMaster T


        They do.

  14. CmdrX3

    Democracy in action... I'd say hypocrisy in action

    It's perfectly acceptable for millions in the country to live in squalor many of them without any form of education, clean water or electricity but post a faked naked picture of the idiots that continue to allow them to live in those conditions whilst partaking in the delights of the widespread corruption and suddenly their sensibilities need protected.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Democracy which isn't really a democracy at all, you can vote for whoever you like, just if they aren't part of our political class you'll never hear about them.

  16. Anonymous Coward 15
    Paris Hilton

    Faked naked pictures banned?

    Real ones, on the other hand...

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yes, Encourage that.

    Agree, Closing google and the like for the oursourced phone-answering-bods will deffo lead to some chaos.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'd say this is a covert way for India to protect it's IT industry, and open the path to India's equivalent of Baidu and Renren.

  19. aelfheld

    Fetishing food animals offends my sensibilities

    In a nutshell, to Hell with the 'sensibilities' of their people.

    If they're so tetchy about what's on the 'net what are they doing visiting sites that offend their delicate 'sensibilities'?

  20. crayon

    Lazy Indians ...

    Instead of asking others to do their dirty work, they should do it themselves - like the Chinese government does.

  21. Roger Mew


    Huh this means that those who object to me saying things like the Koran is a book inciting violence and that most rag hats are out to kill christians is offensive. Well I am afraid that much of their rubbish is offensive to me so please can we block things relating to rag hat stuff on You tube and so on. Better yet just shut them from the internet for a week or three. With no server access then let them see how they cope.

    Lets blow up all mosques, there lets see if they want that stopped. In fact, lets go one step further, stop all rag hat passports, make rag hat wearing and sympathising punishable by stoning (EXACTLY the same as the Koran asks that people who convert to Christianity are dealt with) All that stuff is offensive to me so MS, Yahoo, facebook and the like we want all that stuff removed from your sites.

    1. amster

      What are you rambling on about you crazy person?! What's your point. Who are 'they'?

    2. Intractable Potsherd

      Roger ...

      <-<- Is this one yours - the one with the very long arms that fastens up the back with buckles...?

    3. jbuk1

      You realise Islam in a minority religion in India right?

    4. Nero

      How simple minded are you....?

      Good grief! Not just a horrible racist rant against Muslims, by someone who's clearly never read beyond the title page of the Qu'ran, but by someone who is completely pig ignorant of world history too. For the record, India is predominantly Hindu, not Muslim. Didn't you do history in school then, pal? Probably too focussed on getting you NVQ in football hooliganism I expect. For the record, try Googling the partition of India. It happened in 1947, and split what was the former India under the British Empire into the modern (Hindu majority) India and the Muslim majority countries of West Pakistan and East Pakistan (which itself later turned into Bangladesh). I don't know. Sometimes I really do despair of my fellow countrymen. You'll be telling us next that the fundamental principle of Buddhism is every man for himself, I suppose.

  22. Gis Bun


    Another crackpot government. Do they actually think blocking what they call objectionable will make them holesome? THere are thousands of sites which have material that could even make High Heffner blush [or at least happy].

    1. Anonymous Coward

      to blush or not

      Hefner might, but Flynt definitely wouldn't.

  23. Smartypantz
    Big Brother

    Hooray for the lowest fucking denominator

    Think globally, act locally

    or we will all soon be living in oat-meal-hell (as all god "consumers" should be)

  24. Drew V.

    It could be worth a try

    Someone needs to conduct the experiment to find out whether our lives would be harmed by the excision of Google And Facebook. Difficult to rule out the possibility that they would be improved...

  25. DaddyHoggy

    Google off = Internet Lobotomy

    I really don't mind if India blocks Google or Facebook - it would be "as if millions of voices cried out and were suddenly silenced" - all those India based cold callers will struggle to pretend they're called Dave and are just down the road because they've checked on the weather in your general area or what's going on in Eastenders before they start their evening of auto-dialled pestering.

    Go for it India - see who squeals first - your own businesses or Google/Facebook.

    1. ThatHairyCanadian


      They could always try using AltaVista instead.

  26. Trollslayer


    There was a report earleir this week that in India a government agency sampled milk in 33 states and found 68 percent were contaminated.

    Detergent, filthy water etc.

    Now that is obscene, particularly given the hunger strikes to get anti corruption legislation passed - or a watered down version which has nearly passed but not yet.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't like censorship, but...

    Whereas I wouldn't be surprised if a bunch of politicians protecting their over inflated pride is a part of this, there is a more serious side, which has nothing to do with such things. It is the kind of content which may result in mobs killing each other, whether it is in the name of religion, caste or whatever. Don't other countries have laws against stuff?

    India has grown up a lot in recent years. The terrorism still goes on, but, thank god and the common sense of Indian people, those who seek to turn one group against another often fail. Carnage is one of their tools. It seems facebook may be another.

    It is easy to dismiss people as prudes, but it is nowhere near that simple. In fact, it could be a matter of lives and deaths.

    1. ThatHairyCanadian

      Stuff the terrorism, what about the religious mob violence?

      Every single religious sect on the entire subcontinent commits mass bloodletting via street mobs on a repetitive and reliable basis. To say that India has 'grown up' in recent years is to dismiss nearly every media source available, including the state sponsored ones.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Terrorism includes all that


        True: India has a huge number of terrorist attacks. Far too many. Before you dismiss the "growing up" in the sense that I mean it, please go look at your media reports and see just how many recent bomb blasts have led to "Mass blood-letting on a repetitive and reliable basis." Not many. It is their purpose, and they fail, even though too many people suffer in the attempts.

        Let them fail to stir up inter-community violence on the net too. As I said, don't other countries have laws against the promotion of hate and violence?

  28. Gordon Crawford

    sopa countdown

    we might get the test first

  29. ThatHairyCanadian
    Paris Hilton

    Rick Santorum wants to get in on the action...

    It would appear that the Prime Minister of India - Manmohan Singh, and the ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have joined together with the most dreaded force known to man - Lawyers, and are now vying for the title of 'The Biggest Puddle of Santorum in India'.

    Maybe Santorum Americanus should join forces with Santorum Indicum and jointly sue the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.

    We can call it 'The Grand Santorum Technicum'!

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    As for the silly SOPA (a.k.a softSOAP) posturing - anything that can be erected in cyberspace can and will be be circumcised.

    I almost forgot to say, Mmmm... frothy!

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