Government regulation of the Internet in India: reasons, current status of initiatives and possible consequences of their approval
One of the most democratic countries in the world is considering the introduction of state regulation of the Internet. This statement was made by the government of India, which published a set of proposed measures to control citizens' access to the world wide web. According to politicians, it is too free.
If the initiative is implemented, India will become one of the few countries with the so-called "sovereign Internet". This policy is carried out in China and can be adopted in Russia.
What measures of state regulation of the Internet India wants to take
Indian parliamentarians described their plans in a separate document and published it for public discussion. Activists, in turn, made a sharp criticism of the measures of state regulation of the Internet. In particular, they are dissatisfied with the following points.
First — the authorities want to oblige the world's social networks to remove content that violates local laws. This applies to hated posts and fraudulent publications.
Other initiatives of the officials responsible for fundamental democratic provisions. Policies, if passed, will be able to force providers to install services to monitor user traffic. Thus, India will be able to choose the "appropriate" content and prohibit unwanted information to the state.
The last block of requirements is more resonant. The government wants to interfere in the work of messengers and to weaken the encryption of correspondence in order to know the identity of the sender. The government had to resort to such measures because of last year's scandal, the hero of which was WhatsApp application. Then, as a result of sending false messages, there were beatings of innocent people and even fatal incidents.
The time for public discussion of India's initiatives expired in mid-February. This enables Parliament to adopt them at any time.
If the measures for state regulation of the Internet are approved, India will follow the path of China and Russia and will change its democratic regime to one close to authoritarian. On the other hand, experts note that similar, but not so tough projects have already been implemented in many European countries.
Recall that in China the last 16 years, the so-called "Great Chinese firewall" — a content filtering system on the Internet China. Among other things, the Chinese do not have access to social networks, Google-services and even to the online library Wikipedia has been blocked more than once.
In Russia, meanwhile, there is a discussion of packages of bills designed to increase the role of the state in the regulation of the Internet.