The government has given the task of identifying objectionable content on the Internet to industry body IAMAI, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Parliament today. Also Read - Government to offer free movies to new internet users in remote areas: Report
“Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), an association of content providers, has been mandated to prepare a list of objectionable sites, particularly pornographic websites, available on Internet. “The identified sites will then be considered for disabling,” Prasad told Rajya Sabha. At present, Indian arms of leading Internet companies occupy top ranks at IAMAI. Also Read - Assembled in India: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad shows locally made Apple iPhone XR
Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan is the Chairman, while Facebook’s India chief Kirthiga Reddy is the Vice Chairman of the body. The Minister said there is no proposal with the government to formulate the policy to censor content on the Internet. Prasad further said: “Government takes action, whenever sites/URL pages with objectionable contents infringing any law of the country are brought to its notice by law enforcement agencies, or when court issues direction to block any URL of websites.” The Minister had informed Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government in November 2014 blocked 32 websites, including web-pages, on request sent by Anti-Terrorism Squad, Mumbai, which was accompanied by a court order. Also Read - Indian government considering monitoring internet through a centralized system
The ATS had stated that the blocked websites and pages were being used for “jihadi” propaganda and for mentoring youth in India to join ISIS and “jihadi” activities. All the websites and pages were unblocked after their owners assured of complying with law and following consultation with the ATS. Owners of these websites responded to the government on social media site Twitter and assured to work within the ambit of the policy, as per official information shared with Lok Sabha.