WATCH ON THE NET : INADEQUACY OF CYBER LAWS
AN INTRODUCTION :-Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India gives every Citizen of India “ Freedom of speech and expression” which can be curtailed only under some specified conditions as stated in Art. 19(2). The freedom can be curbed only when there is danger to the Sovereignty, public order, public morality and public decency etc. There are umpteen number of instances when the freedom had been curtailed in the past by unjustifiable means. Such curbing conditions are to be judged vis-à-vis other democratic Countries and the norms followed by them. India is not an exception to others. A dividing line has to be drawn in each and every case to decide what is just and what is unjust, what is controllable and what is absolute freedom . A freedom is not to be curtailed by unjustifiable means . In a democratic set up, the opposition is to be tolerated and not to be eschewed. After all, the underlying intentions of the person wanting absolute freedom is to have paramountcy and supremacy in a rule of law. The freedom can not be allowed to be curtailed in the guise of the public interest. The claim of the Government in curbing freedom to safeguard public interest, religious sentiments etc. is to pass the “strict scrutiny test” of the Courts as the hidden intentions to curb opposition are not ruled out.
CYBER LAW IN INDIA : The Indian debate is more about a long standing divide between proponents of freedom of information and those concerned with the social or security consequences of incendiary speech. The problems inherent in this are encapsulated in Articles 69a and 79 of the Indian Telecommunications Act – one that wholeheartedly backs free speech and the other that provides a long list of exceptions including blasphemy and pornography. The authorities find it difficult to in controlling access to digital media. There are 22 networking sites in India which include Facebook India, Facebook,, Google India Pvt. Ltd. Google Orkut, Youtube, Blogspot,, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd., Microsoft, Zombie Time, Exboii, Boardreader, IMC India, My Lot, Shyni Blog and Topix, Yahoo. A Delhi Court has ordered the stated sites to remove all “ anti-religious” or “ anti-social” contents from their sites within 90 days. Monitoring contents on the Internet , particularly those generated by users, has been a controversial issue. It is not that a task to have a watch on the net as contemplated.
CONCLUSION: We in India do have the Cyber law but it is not effective. Law is supposed to be stringent in punishing those misusing it. It is also true the foreign Social networking sites operate from India but Indian laws are less digested by them. In such like cases, the Govt. is bound to be strict. But the Govt. should not censor the net but should adopt strict tactics for compliance of the law. The intentions of the Govt. over the contents which it wants to censor are not specified. There are conflicts of interests as the matters which are considered to be bad by the Govt. , the social sites like Facebok and Orkut follow those rules. The proposed mechanism of a common filter for Social site like Facebook can not be feasible as it operates in so many Countries and is next to impossible to have auto control. India being the biggest democracy in the world and banning Social sites like Facebook will be another dark Chapter in Indian History. The parallel of the same can be drawn when Emergency was imposed in 1975 .There is a need of consciousness and awareness towards the Cyber laws. If it so happens, there will never be the need to complain and become a target of attack.
There is a strong case against pre-censorship. It is hardly possible to draw a line between the nice and nasty versions . Google and similar Companies have been more than willing by obliging the objector to take post facto action when they have received a complaint. There can not be better substitute to this sound principle. Even totalitarian States having everything in their hands depend primarily on screening and blocking what appears rather than trying to pre-empt, its genesis. At the same time, India needs to follow other liberal democracies in making clear that intermediaries –like websites and search engines –should have limited liability for the information created by some other entity that they happen to carry or dig up. They can not be held vicariously liable for the acts of the other to which they are not parties. Holding them liable in such like situations are against the equitable principles also striking at the root of the conscience of the people.