Indian Court Demands Google Hand Over Anonymous Blogger's Identity
from the anonymity-not-allowed dept
It would appear that Google is discovering some of the differences in the legal system in India as compared to the US. Just after we wrote about how Google (along with Microsoft and Yahoo) were sued over ads, there are some stories coming out about how an Indian court has ordered Google to hand over the identity of an anonymous blogger who was criticizing an Indian company, Gremach Infrastructure Equipments & Projects Ltd. While anonymous speech is somewhat protected (within certain limits) in the US, that’s not the case in many other countries. As the link above notes, this may force Google to change the way it does business in India.
In some ways, this is just another example of a problem that many folks have been asking about for years. On a borderless web, how do you know whose jurisdiction covers what? If the blogging all occurred on US servers hosted by a US company, should they be covered by US laws… or Indian laws? Or, even, some other country entirely? If you agree that once it’s on the internet, it can be covered by laws in other countries, you end up with a bad result: the worst, strictest laws suddenly become the laws everywhere. That’s a ridiculous outcome, but it’s exactly where things go when you start suing an American company concerning content hosted in America under laws from another country.