Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Internet, Censorship and Democracy

I just now read the news about Mr. Kapil Sibal (read this carefully..."Minister of Human Resource Development and Communication & Information Technology of India") meeting the officials of biggest players of the Internet like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook etc. to censor the content put up by the users and that too by the most stupid method of "manually" doing it. Read the TechCrunch's take on this here...

Check out the news on Hindustan Times here...

We keep talking about the Indian economy in the global perspective and position of India internationally... I wonder what kind of image are we projecting by such "innovative" initiatives by none other than the Communication & Information Technology Minister of India..?

Indian Democracy being the largest democracy in the world and this is the way people are going to use their Right to Speech, Expression..? This is really sad. If at all there is a serious problem that the comments can offend the secularism of our nation then I guess first we need to ponder as to how many Internet users are there in India..? Don't we have other issues to look upon other than this ..? 

Moreover, if they really think that people's opinions on Internet can create a considerable havoc to the national integrity then probably it is the time for them to figure out the ways to use Internet for better administration. We also know that there can be numerous ways of using Internet for the betterment of the democracy; instead of thinking about the feasibility of these options, we are actually concerned about what people post on "their personal" facebook account about the politicians ?? 

On one hand they are distributing the Ubislate tablets bundled with Internet plans for more and more people to be Internet literate and on the other hand they are trying to tie our hands so that we can not even voice our opinions about different things. Well they should realise that truth indeed is  always bitter; its even more bitter when you know the level of corruption you are sunk in.

Internet can be used for better surveillance (referring to corruption), better transparency in governance (referring to funds and taxes received),  probably better voting methodologies, better feedback on governance and what not..? I am just a student so I don't really know much in this regard but I hope (or may be hoped) that the "Minister of Human Resource Development and Communication & Information Technology of India" knows better.