KING Canute's attempt to
command the waves seems less demanding than th e threats of the Delhi High
Court to Google, Facebook and others to precensor objectionable material and
eliminate them from circulation.
The recent story has deeper
According to the New York
Times, in October 2011, IT Minister Kapil Sibal called internet service
providers to protest a Facebook page maligning Sonia Gandhi. Following another
meeting in November, on December 5, 2011, Sibal called Google, Yahoo, Facebook,
Microsoft and others to proclaim that " the Indian government doesn't believe
in censorship. It believes in self- regulation". But his request from the
service providers was Herculean. They were to create a mechanism to identify
and, perforce, excise " inflammatory" and " defamatory"
material. The service providers were to be simultaneously regulators and spies.