Centre to evolve consensus on rules for internet content | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Centre to evolve consensus on rules for internet content

delhi Updated: May 18, 2012 01:20 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

The Centre on Thursday said it will evolve a consensus on rules for control of internet content after talking to various stakeholders including members of Parliament and industry representatives also.

The assurance from Union telecom minister Kapil Sibal came in the Rajya Sabha after P Rajeeve of CPI(M) moved a statutory motion seeking annulment of rules aimed at regulating internet content notified by the government in April 2011. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/5/18_05-pg-11c.jpg

The motion, for annuling the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011, was later defeated by a voice vote.

“My assurance to the House is that I will request the MPs to write letters to me objecting to any specific words. I will then call a meeting of the members as well as the industry and all stakeholders. We will have a discussion and whatever consensus emerges, we will implement it,” Sibal said.

Justifying the rules, the minister said "these are sensitive issues" as most internet companies were registered abroad and not subjected to Indian laws.

Amid a raging row over the need for regulating internet content, a local court recently directed some internet giants to remove objectionable contents from Indian websites.

Rajeeve had said the rules were ultra vires of the provisions of the parent IT Act and violated the freedom of speech and expression and demanded they be done away with.

Taking part in the discussions, Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley pointed out it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone.

He said “certain kind of information” which creates disorder in the society may have to be restrained.

Rajeeve, said the rules should be annulled as they are ultra vires to the parent Act.

“This rule has gone against the intent of Parliament by introducing private censorship mechanism,” he said.