Indian Judge Tells Google And Facebook To 'Check And Remove Objectionable Material' Or Be Blocked

from the do-the-impossible dept

A few weeks back, Techdirt reported on an Indian minister asking Internet companies to do the impossible:

The Indian government has asked Internet companies and social media sites like Facebook to prescreen user content from India and to remove disparaging, inflammatory or defamatory content before it goes online, three executives in the information technology industry say.
At the time, you could dismiss this as just the usual grandstanding by a politician trying to score points with the home audience. It now seems that things are much more serious than that. koolhead17 sends us news that an Indian High Court judge is not only asking for pretty much the same impossible things, but threatening to block sites "like in China" if they don't:
The Delhi high court today warned social networking site Facebook India and search engine Google 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. "Like China, we will block all such websites," Justice Suresh Kait said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google India to develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove "offensive and objectionable" material from their web pages.
Worryingly, this lack of comprehension about what is technically possible is not confined to India, as the debates around SOPA have revealed only too painfully.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Well, there goes the website for the Indian government.

    Definitely objectionable material.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    "If the US and China jumped off a bridge......"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re:

    THEY DID? I AM SO THERE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    So Google and Facebook are forced to save all your posts/updates to a page and read it before it's officially posted on the Internet, is that really so bad? How long could it possibly tale two gigantic Internet companies to do that? The Internet only has like a billion users, that shouldn't be a big deal.

     

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  5.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    What exactly happens when this judge is told that his order cannot physically be performed, that its impossible? You can't vet the entire internet for content using such a vague metric as "objectionable and offensive".

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    instead of keep trying to please all these idiots, why doesn't Google just pull out from the countries (and that includes the US) that moan about it so much? if the whole company upped sticks to somewhere else that appreciated what they had and the revenue it brought, how long before these moaners would start again because they had moved? never satisfied!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:39pm

    So Google and Facebook are forced to save all your posts/updates to a page and read it before it's officially posted on the Internet, is that really so bad? How long could it possibly tale two gigantic Internet companies to do that? The Internet only has like a billion users, that shouldn't be a big deal.

    [Sent: 1/13/2010, 3:34 PM]
    [This post was pre-screened and approved by Google: 1/13/2012, 3:34 PM]

    (Sorry for double post, the last & most important part of this stupid post didn't show up in my previous one)

     

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  8.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Re:

    I've thought that before also. Especially when some small country does it. Maybe Google, Yahoo, et all should just say, okay, bye.

    Then see what the reaction is.

     

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  9.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    I really think it is about time for some of the mega companies like Google to just throw their full weight around. They need to just put out an announcement to all the governments stating that if they keep regulating things they do not understand then the internet will fail. As a demonstration Google could then fully shutdown every server they own for a day.

     

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  10.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    oh cmon now, it's not just all those users. It's all of their content as well.

     

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  11.  
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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    How the Internet works

    Do these people not understand how the Internet works? If they diminish Google and/or Facebook to the point that they are heavily censored, then some other site is going to pop up, and then another and another. That's the beauty of the Internet. Short of completely taking it down, and I very much doubt that is possible these days, I don't see how these people really think they can stop expression on the Internet.

    If it wasn't so scary/dangerous, it would be funny how the powers that be are scurrying around like cockroaches now that their corruption can be so easily exposed to everyone.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    I agree that Google needs to throw its weight around.

    I really want Google to execute a hostile takeover of a record company.

    I'd get a big bag of popcorn out to watch that show.

    The record companies are so poorly run that I would only imagine the remaining ones would be able to survive 1, maybe 2, years with Google competing against them.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Re: How the Internet works

    No, they don't understand how the internet works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    SOPA goes to Dehli? Just change a couple words:

    The Delhi high court today warned social networking site Facebook India and search engine Google India that websites can be "blocked" like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove *copyrighted* material from their web pages. "Like China, we will block all such websites," Justice Suresh Kait said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google India to develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove "*infringing" material from their web pages.

    And then SOPA comes to America; change 5 words:

    The Washington high court today warned social networking site Facebook and search engine Google that websites can be "blocked" like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove *copyrighted* material from their web pages. "Like China, we will block all such websites," Justice R. I. AA. said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google to develop a mechanism to keep a check and remove "*infringing*" material from their web pages.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    V (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Sad testimant to India

    I find this idiot judge's ruling both objectionable and offensive... Google and Facebook... please remove it...

     

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  16.  
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    Arthur (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    Since when

    Since when did China's draconian suppression of free speech become an example to be emulated by others? We certainly do live in interesting times.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    DirtyMouthedVixen, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    More control

    I wonder how much the judge is being paid off to try and enforce these laws. Government control. Bring down Google and Facebook and restore government control expression. Handing out the numbered jumpsuits to the population is next.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    call their bluff

    I would just call their bluff. If you want to block the two biggest sites on the net, go for it and see how long you stay in office.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

    Re:

    I may be wrong, but isn't there a large portion of Google employees in India? If Google shuts down in India, will they also pull out their employees, or at least their development or other contracts? What would be the economic impact of closing Google down in India?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    New Mexico Mark, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    India tech support after Google and Facebook removal...

    Hello, my name is... Bob, how can I help you?

    (a couple of minutes into the call)

    I am sorry but I cannot seem to find the answer to your question. Would you like to talk about the weather instead?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Since when

    Isn't "May you live in interesting times" supposed to be a potent curse?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Waaaait a minute. www.google.com and www.facebook.com seems purty clean to me.
    mebe they should just fax him screenshots of their front pages and say "job done".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Google should stand up for its users there are other search engines and facebook is not much better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Since when

    Yup. I always see it cited as "Ancient Chinese Curse" which is not particularly descriptive, but at least the curse part is probably accurate...

    It's like the opposite of "no news is good news"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Digitari, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    RE

    Didn't something like this happen before? I swear that a company Sued google for showing a news story and asked to be censored. then said sorry can we be uncensored google, Please

    Google censor India, Please

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110718/16394915157/belgian-newspapers-give-permission-t o-google-to-return-them-to-search-results.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    If Google and Facebook comply, I will cease to use them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    ASTROBOI, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Free India

    I remember being taught, as a little kid, how the freedom loving Indians kicked out the nasty British and Gahndi laid down on the railroad tracks in his nightshirt that he made himself and how wonderful all this stuff was. And now India wants to be "like China" while their citizens make big salaries as telemarketers and phone scammers. Oh well.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    AzureSky (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    if i was google/facebook, i would just block india with a message explaining that their govt dosnt want them using facebook/google....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Ilfar, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    I have a spare room Google could rent over here...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Re:

    8 years of footage uploaded to YouTube every day? Yeah, manually checking the copyright status of each and every frame of that, both audio and video, would be a snap.

    Let's see, 365.25 days in a year, 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour, 60 seconds in a minute, 30 frames per second, assuming it takes about an hour on average to find the copyright info for anything visible or audible during each frame, and an eight-hour workday with weekends off... Google would need to hire about 5.4 billion new employees to handle the workload for YouTube alone.
    Now that's job creation!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    There would be two fewer oppressive regimes in the world?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Bergman (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    Simple: Whoever tells the judge that goes to prison for contempt of court, and will be released only when they comply with the judge's order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Damnit Timmy!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Bergman (profile), Jan 13th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Re:

    Well, since determining whether something is objectionable is something only a human can do using current technology, odds are your post would be approved sometime in 2147, not 2012.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Jk News on Google Facebook, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 3:00am

    Google Facebook ban in India

    I'm surprised by this. Ironically, things like pornography and other cyber crimes don't seem to go against the "ethnic" and "religious" culture of India, but obscene pictures of goddesses and politicians seem to be an issue of concern for the government. Barring sights like google and facebook, like China, means withdrawing the freedom of expression from many Indians. Would India then, still be worth calling the "world's largest democracy"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Dave P, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    Techically incompetent judge - again!.

    Google and the like will doubtless employ the whole planet to sit down 24/7 to filter results! What a ludicrous ruling, borne out of complete and utter ignorance of how the net works and just how large it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2012 @ 7:04am

    You in heap big trouble now, paleface.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2012 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re:

    Got Febreze?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Stone cold pete 316, Jan 28th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    Please read

    I disagree Mr. designer fx itis not all of our users fault or the content or what we are putting on the Internet at all

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    u.udaybabu shetty, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:23am

    you see just uudaybabu fecebook knwo more love question i laike indian grls/krnataka fecebook/uudaybabu

    like

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    uudaybabu, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:33am

    Re: you see just uudaybabu fecebook knwo more love question i laike indian grls/krnataka fecebook/uudaybabu

    like

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    uudaybabu, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: you see just uudaybabu fecebook knwo more love question i laike indian grls/krnataka fecebook/uudaybabu

    like

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    s.fb.com, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:52am

    you leike uudaybabu just clik hre

    like

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    s.fb.com, Apr 1st, 2012 @ 11:54am

    you leike uudaybabu just clik hre

    like

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    fecebook/uudaybabu, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 11:42am

    i love you indian karnataka engage grls

    like 4

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    fecebook/uudaybabu, Apr 2nd, 2012 @ 11:44am

    i love you indian karnataka engage grls

    like 4

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    uudaybabu@gmail.com, Apr 8th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    laike.g

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 9:38am

    Good to luck to them enforcing this one . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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