India denies web censorship bid
India’s government denies trying to censor leading websites including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Acting telecom minister Kapil Sibal today told the Times of India the government is seeking greater screening of the content displayed on the sites, rather than actually censoring the information provided.
However, Sibal says the government must step in to encourage firms to remove damaging content after a string of meetings with representatives of web firms yielded little more than verbal agreement to self regulate.
The acting minister spoke out after a New York Times article suggested the government is trying to censor content. That story revealed Sibal is seeking human, rather than automated, screening of content – a move web firms claim is impossible to carry out due to the sheer scale of content they carry.
Last year, the government threatened to impose restrictions, or even ban companies including RIM and Skype unless they took steps to enable security forces to monitor messages.