The Times reports that internet companies in India, including Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google, are on a collision course with the Indian Government after the Delhi High Court ruled that legal action could be taken against them unless they blocked access to material that was deemed offensive or obscene. Last year India introduced laws meaning that offensive material had to be removed from hosting websites within 36 hours of a complaint. India's Telecomms Minister said at the time he was opposed to "unacceptable" content such as dctored images of religious or political leaders being posted online.
The action means that senior executives face the possibility of trial on criminal matters, including spreading religious hatred and social unrest according to the report. Judge Suresh Kait said "If a contraband is found in your house, it is your liability to take action against it" adding "Like China, we can block all such websites [that do not comply] but let us not go to that situation". Google and other companies have said that it is impossible for them to effectively monitor all postings to their sites.
Any comment from our Indian readers would be most welcome. From The Times, 14th January 2012