Censure of Internet Content in India

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, the Minister for Electronics and IT informed the nation that the government has blocked over 2100 URLs (Uniform Resource Locaters) on the various social media platforms in the first half of 2019. The corresponding figures for the 2016,2017 and 2018 were 633, 1385 and 2799 URLs respectively.

Why does the government block a URL?

  • The government generally blocks a URL in the interest of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of India or any URLs which pose a major security risk to the defense of India.
  • The government investigates every threat to the security of the state and to ensure that the friendly relations with foreign states are not jeopardized due to immaturity on the web, it can also block URLs.
  • Finally, if a URL posts incriminatory or defamatory content that challenges public order or for preventing incitement then it can be blocked by the government.
  • All URLs hosting child pornography are automatically blocked by the government.

What authorizes the government to block a URL?

The Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 has empowered the Central Government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource which violates the above principles.

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