The Indian government has initiated legal proceedings against a number of search, social networking, and technology companies. The government found sufficient cause to pursue prosecution of the companies for refusing to regulate offensive content. Ten of the 21 companies are based outside India. These include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, and YouTube. The companies are required to present themselves to the court at a hearing on March 13th.
The government of India made worldwide news early last month when it was revealed that Kapil Sibal, India’s minister of telecommunications, was planning to meet with representatives from several tech and social media companies in order to request that they pre-screen and censor “offensive” content from their sites. Facebook and Google, which were among the companies asked to censor their content, responded that they would enforce their terms of service and abide by the law, but no more. Meanwhile, in response to the storm of criticism generated around the world by news of his office’s meetings, Sibal denied that his office had requested censorship of political content. He insisted that the only content he wanted removed was that which would be offensive to the religious sensibilities of the Indian people.[Source: IBN Live]