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The OpenNet Initiative classified India as participated in “selective” Internet filtering in the political, battle/protection, societal, and Internet tools places in 2011.[1][2] ONI describes India as:

A stable democracy using a solid tradition of press freedom, that still continues its regime. Nevertheless, the particular censorship of websites as well as other content, frequently under the guise of protection, in India in addition has been met with critical resistance.

Indian ISPs continue to filter Web sites. Nevertheless, government efforts at filtering have completely ineffective users have found strategies to circumvent filtering and because blocked content has rapidly migrated to other Web sites. The government has additionally been criticised to get selecting which Web sites to obstruct and for a poor grasp of the technical feasibility.

Reporters Without Borders “states under surveil”

In March 2012, Reporters Without Borders added India to its list of “states under surveil”,[3] saying that:

Considering that 2008’s Mumbai bombings, the Indian authorities have stepped up pressure and Internet surveillance on technical companies, while openly rejecting accusations. The national security policy of the largest democracy of earth is undermining liberty of expression as well as the protection of Internet users’ private data.

Freedom House report

The India country report which is a part of Freedom House’s Freedom on the Internet 2012 report, says:[4]

India’s general Internet Liberty Status is “Partially Free”, unchanged from 2009.
India has a score on range (free) to 100 (least free), which puts India 20 out of the 47 nations world-wide that were a part of the 2012 report of 39. India rated 14 out of 37 states in the 2011 report.
India ranks third out of the eleven states in Asia contained in the 2012 report.
Prior to 2008, censorship was unpredictable and comparatively uncommon.
Following the November 2008 terrorist attacks which killed 171 people, the Indian Parliament passed changes to the Information Technology Act (ITA) that expanded the government’s censorship and tracking capacities.
Measures for removing specific content in the internet occasionally for fear they could incite violence, have become more common, while there’s no continual government policy or strategy to block access to Internet content on a large scale.
Pressure on private companies to eliminate information that’s perceived to endanger national security or public order has improved together with the execution of the amended ITA, since late 2009. Businesses must possess designated workers for government blocking requests, and delegates up to seven years’ imprisonment private service providers–including search engines, ISPs, and cybercafes — which don’t obey requests being blocked by the government’s.
Internet users have confronted prosecution for internet postings, and law obliges private companies to deliver user information.
In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that moderators and bloggers can face libel suits as well as criminal prosecution for opinions posted on their sites.
Prior judicial acceptance for communications interception isn’t needed and both central and state governments hold the ability to issue directives on observation, interception, and decryption. Law obliges all authorized ISPs to sign an arrangement which allows user data to be accessed by Indian government authorities.


In June 2000, the Indian Parliament created the Information Technology (IT) Act to give a legal framework to control Internet use and trade, including digital signatures, security, and hacking.[1] The act criminalises the publishing of obscene advice electronically and allows police powers to search any premises with no warrant and arrest people in breach of the act. A 2008 change to the IT Act strengthened the government’s power to block content and Internet websites and criminalised sending messages deemed offensive or inflammatory.[5]

Internet filtering also can be mandated through licensing conditions. For instance, ISPs seeking licences to offer Internet services using the Department of Telecommunications (DOT) “shall block Internet sites and/or individual subscribers, as identified and directed by the Telecom Authority from time to time” in the interests of “national security”.[6] Licence arrangements additionally require ISPs to stop the transmission of obscene or otherwise objectionable content.[7]

In 2001, the Bombay High Court made a committee to manage issues regarding online pornography and Cybercrime.[8] The Court encouraged the petitioners, Jayesh Thakkar and Sunil Thacker, to make recommendations on cyber laws. The committee published a report which analyses the crucial problems and made recommendations regarding regions for example the licensing of cyber cafes, putative identity cards that minors use the care, as well as computers in public spaces by cyber cafes. The Committee also urged that internet service providers maintain records and right time logs.

The report counseled internet companies to offer parental management software for each Internet connexion and also addressed the protection of kids from mature sites. The committee also identified lack of technical knowledge in law enforcement as a difficulty. The report was well received by the courts, and its own recommendations are being executed cyber cafes and the police. The Cyber Crime Investigation Cell was set up pursuant to a recommendation produced by the committee.

In 2003, the Government of India created the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) to ensure Internet security.[9] Its stated mission is “to improve the protection of India’s Communications and data Infrastructure through proactive activity and successful cooperation”.[10] CERT-IN is the bureau that accepts and reviews requests to block access to particular sites. All licensed Indian ISPs must comply -IN conclusions. There’s no appeals or review procedure. Many associations, including the police, courts, the intelligence services, the Ministry of Home Affairs as well as the National Human Rights Commission, may call for specialist expertise onto it. By stretching the prohibition against printing obscene content to range from the filtering CERT-IN was empowered to review grievances and act as the only authority for issuing blocking directions (DOT). Many have claimed that giving CERT-IN this power through executive order breaks constitutional jurisprudence maintaining that particular legislation has to be passed prior to the government can encroach on individual rights.[1]

“I’m mystified by our government’s strategy both to the net also to the numerous Indians utilizing it. It doesn’t conform to the values of democracy and our republic. This issue must be dealt with for which I propose to file a PIL in the Supreme Court. Do not kill the freedom of speech, alter the IT Rules”, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament

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