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India, the world's largest democracy, seems to be getting quite undemocratic in its efforts to regulate its citizens' Internet use. It's gotten so bad that the natives seem to be getting very restless and are taking to the streets for a good-old-fashioned protest -- occurring in 18 cities across the nation today.
Indians are gathering together to raise hell about recent laws and other governmental actions that are seen as invading their online privacy. It has even prompted a 7-day hunger strike in early May by a political cartoonist whose website was shut down because of complaints that his work made fun of the nation's parliament and other national symbols.
The controversy first began brewing in 2008 with the enactment of modifications to the so-called Information Technology Act that allowed governmental officials to force Internet service providers to monitor their customers' use. Then, in 2011, they went one step further -- compelling ISPs to take down within 36 hours anything deemed by regulators as harassing, objectionable and harmful.
Observed Shivam Viij, a Delhi-based journalist, in a published essay, according to Foreign Policy magazine: "The current mechanisms of internet censorship in India -- blocking, direct removal requests to websites, intermediary rules -- are draconian and unconstitutional. They need to be replaced with a new set of rules that are fair, transparent and accessible for public scrutiny. They should not be amenable to misuse by the powers-that-be for their own private interests."
The Indian government even has lawsuits against Facebook and Google for not heeding its demands. Apparently, China's not the only outsource magnet trying to modify its citizens' Internet behavior and ability to obtain information.
Read all about it: http://bit.ly/L8LnSY.