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Social networking sites must work within laws, says Sachin Pilot

Bangalore/New Delhi, Mon, 06 Feb 2012 ANI

Bangalore/New Delhi, Feb 6 (ANI): Minister for State, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, Sachin Pilot today said that internet giant, google and social networking sites like Facebook should work within the ambit of the Indian law.


Pilot, while speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of India Semiconductor Association (ISA) Vision Summit 2012 in Bangalore said: "Whether it's a social media website company or any company, for that matter they all have to operate within the laws of the country and what we have said is that there must be responsible behaviour on both the sides. While we believe that the court is of course within its right to make sure that the companies that operate in India have to work within the laws," said Pilot.


The case has stoked fears about censorship in the world's largest democracy.


A lower court in New Delhi told the companies on Monday to put in writing the steps they had taken to block offensive content, and submit reports to the court within 15 days.


Meanwhile in New Delhi, Santosh Pandey, counsel for petitioner Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi said 22 social networking websites to file their compliance report on removing objectionable contents within 15 days.


"Today, the lower court has ordered to file the WS (written statement) by the opposite parties of Facebook, Google etc and it was a clear-cut order placed by the court which has directed them that they have to file their WS within 15 days from today," said Pandey.


The founder of, Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi, had filed a petition in the court for removing offensive and objectionable content from the websites.


Last year, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had urged officials from Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter to remove offensive material that were available on the websites.


As a result, a squall of criticism was seen from the Internet users who objected regarding the censorship of the websites.


Fewer than one in 10 of India's 1.2 billion populations have access to the Internet, but that still makes it the third-biggest Internet market after China and the United States. The number of Internet users in India is expected to almost triple to 300 million over the next three years.


Despite the new rules to block offensive content, India's Internet access is still largely uncensored, in contrast to the tight controls in neighbouring China. (ANI)


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