An annulment motion moved by Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament representing Kerala P. Rajeeve is the latest in the attempt of internet freedom activists to get the Indian government to re-think and rectify the draconian provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
The statutory motion, to get the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) 2011 annulled, is expected to come up for discussion on April 23.
The motion is reproduced below:
The following Motion given notice of by Shri P.Rajeeve, M.P. has been admitted in the following form:
“That this House resolves that the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 issued under clause (zg) of sub-section (2) of Section 87 read with sub-section (2) of Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 published in the Gazette of India dated the 13th April, 2011 vide Notification No. G.S.R 314(E) and laid on the Table of the House on the 12th August, 2011, be annulled; and
That this House recommends to Lok Sabha that Lok Sabha do concur on this Motion.”
Meanwhile, the Software Freedom Law Centre has launched an online petition against the IT Act rules:
Government has enacted laws that gives it a free pass to censor our Facebook posts, listen to every Skype conversation we have, monitor our tweets or blogs or access private photographs and documents we store online, or track our location using our mobile phones or surveil all of your online activity.
Tell your government that they cannot use vaguely defined laws and loopholes to take away your freedom of speech and expression.
On 11th April 2011, the Government notified the new Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 prescribing various guiding principles to be observed by all internet related companies. These rules will
1. Lead to a clamp down on the freedom of speech and expression enshrined in the Constitution of India by providing for a system of censorship / self-censorship by private parties;
2. Adversely affect the right to privacy of citizens by allowing Government agencies to access their information;
3. Will severely hamper the growth of internet penetration in India, and consequently lead to a slowdown of economic growth;
4. Limit the growth of various IT related industries and services (in particular cyber cafes, search engines and bloggers).
In addition, mandatory data retention would force your Internet Service Provider to create vast and expensive new databases of sensitive information about you. That information would then be available to the government, in secret and without any court oversight.
Click on link below for petition:
In another campaign, cartoonist Aseem Trivedi who was the target of internet censorship when his website was blocked for allegedly showing content that mocked the Indian Constitution, had a cheeky celebration of All Fool’s Day on April 1 with a greeting to Union IT minister Kapil Sibal ‘for his foolish attempts to try censoring internet’.
Check out the campaign: