India’s Internet Control Laws: As Vague As It Gets

Pssst: don’t tell anyone. Sneaking this post in before Techie Buzz gets blocked for posting articles that threaten the unity or integrity of the country, and before my free speech right is taken away because I have been blasphemous in a secular country. Yes, I will be clapped in irons because one of my posts deals grossly harmfuldamage on some entity of the Indian nation like calling him enna rascilla!and I will be put to trial for reading Wikileaks because that threatens friendly relations with foreign states. These are the kinds of clauses in the new Internet Control Laws which might soon become Internet Control Acts. You can download the original PDF of the Law here.


As MediaNama reports with righteous anger, it appears that these laws have been made specifically to curb free speech, instead of aiding and abetting free speech. It seems that in this country, free speech is a curse that must be lifted bit-by-bit by the bureaucracy in order to make life easier for them since once the Laws (especially this one) are turned to Acts, there is very little chance of recourse. It also seems that whenever the lawmakers make these laws, they make sure it is so ambiguous that everything can be turned against the alleged perpetrators.

While the number of IT crimes are on a rise these days and unethical cracking is a menace, curbing the free speech rights and making ambiguous laws against such crimes is definitely not the answer. For what it’s worth, I believe the MPs need to use the internet and see the differences between the knowledge part of the internet with its free and unadulterated sharing of free knowledge and very easily accessible, and the seedier parts of the internet which are accessible only to those with an already criminal intent, and make their laws according to their observations.

That, or a huge proportion of us internet-using Indians need to stand for elections next year.

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