India Gets All China-y, Restricts Free Speech on the Web


Just weeks after India banned a book that suggests that Gandhi was bisexual, the world’s largest democracy decides to further emulate its repressive neighbor to the northeast. New regulations seek to limit freedom of speech online. The list of objectionable content includes anything that “threatens the unity, integrity, defense, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order.” Popular sites like Facebook and Google’s YouTube would be required to take down offensive content within 36 hours. Some local Internet firms say it may actually be an improvement on an old rule holding companies responsible for third-party content — a law that permitted police to arrest eBay’s top Indian exec in 2004 because the site was auctioning a video of a teenage couple acting out poses that may or may not have already been covered in one of its culture’s ancient texts.

India Feels a Chill Over New Rules on Web Speech [NYT]