India gov't agrees to prosecute Google, Facebook

India's government authorised on Friday the prosecution of 21 Internet firms including Facebook and Google in a case over obscene content posted online, two sources told AFP.

The approval could lead to company directors being called to a trial court in New Delhi to answer serious charges such as fomenting religious hatred and spreading social discord, an official and a lawyer said.

A criminal case against the companies was first brought by journalist Vinay Rai who complained that the websites were responsible for obscene and offensive material posted by users.

He also complained that they had broken laws designed to maintain religious harmony in India, a more serious offensive that requires to be admitted in court.

"We had applied for the government's sanction and the ministry of communication and IT has filed it directly in the metropolitan magistrate's court," Rai's lawyer Sashi Prakash Tripathi told AFP.

A source in the ministry, who asked not to be named because he was unauthorised to speak to the media, confirmed to AFP that approval had been given.

The Internet companies targeted have already filed a petition in the Delhi High Court seeking to have the lower court's case against them stayed. The hearing of the petition is to resume on Monday.

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(c) 2012 AFP

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Jan 13, 2012
Why such Hippocracy ?
People can watch porn but can't post ??

Jan 13, 2012
"Vinay Rai .. complained that the websites were responsible for obscene and offensive material posted by users."

Anyone else see a problem with this? Are people this fucking insane? The people responsible for that material are the people that posted it, not the people that supplied the medium. Would you sue a masonry company if someone sprayed graffiti on a brick wall?

What the hell is wrong with people? Also, "fomenting religious hatred", really? Grow the fuck up you bunch of cry babies. I guess in India they don't know the "sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me" thing...

I really hate this world and the people on it sometimes.

Jan 13, 2012
Don't forget India is on the start of a slippery slope with several of the nation's wealthiest investors pulling out for less corrupt prospects in other countries. Their government has to get who it can while it can before all the corruption inquiries oust most of the current officials.

Jan 13, 2012
This is very suggestive of the actions that may occur elseware if SOPA passes in the US.

Jan 13, 2012
I get really annoyed when people refer to India as the largest democracy. I guess they don't know about casts, husbands killing wives for the money...what kind of democracy is this if people cannot post to youtube anything they want.

Jan 13, 2012
Democracy is a system of government where the leaders are elected to rule by the consent of the governed. The term does not mean anything else, so yes India can very well be a democracy and still have crazy stupid laws like these.

Jan 13, 2012
I get really annoyed when people refer to India as the largest democracy.
Etymology of democracy: Demos meaning "people," and Kratia meaning "to rule," therefore democracy means nothing more than MOB RULE.

Jan 13, 2012
This is the kind of anti-intelligence the governments in the middle east are getting well known for. To all of the companies involved I say remove your services, they would lose far more than the companies would. I wonder how much the local social pressure would change such government polices when the people learn that their government effectively unplugged facebook and google.

Jan 15, 2012
Obviously, India is not a democracy! something else perhaps?

Jan 15, 2012
can't we just kick india off the net entirely?

that would solve the problem.

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