Once Again Politicians Demand Social Media To Be Clamped

What began as concern over rising instances of cyber crime ended with demands for tighter regulation of the internet when Kapil Sibal spoke in the Loksabha during the Q&A session.

Indian government on social media

kapil-sibalIt seems that all the problems of the Government Of India starts with social media and ends with the solution to regulate it. According to Times Of India, yesterday during the question hour debate in the Lok Sabha, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Kapil Sibal shared that India will soon have a cyber security policy that will ensure preventive measures against cyber crime and fraud.

The debate that began as a concern over rising instances of cyber crime ended with demands for tighter Internet regulation from MPs. The discussion that began with Delhi Congress chief J P Agarwal was joined by other MP’s that turned into a heated debate later. Yesterday Bollywood actress and Rampur MP Jayaprada stated that social networks like Facebook are being used to target celebrities by creating fake accounts and uploading objectionable content. The fact got support from RJD supreme Lalu Yadav, Trinamool Congress Ratan De, etc. The ministers demanded an explanation from the government as well as a stronger IT Act and national cyber policy.

Sibal addressed the house by giving assurance that the government is working on ways for policing the internet and social media sites. He agreed that objectionable content won’t be tolerated and the government is going to bring strong measures too. However, Sibal made a point by condemning the recent arrests against the two girls in Maharashtra over their activity on Facebook. He added that,

“If we object to certain postings we will violate freedom of expression. This government is fully committed to ensuring freedom of expression. The Maharashtra chief minister himself took action on this case in his state,” on being asked about the recent controversy that took place due to the use of IT Act Section 66A.

Later in the Q&A session, Sibal also shared that the government has formed Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) to keep a watchful eye on all cyber activities and Rs. 300 crore had already been spent on protecting websites against hacking and the government plans to spend more on this.

It is good to see the present government spending heaps of money on policing the internet and on the usage of effective social media. But in the last two years, I haven’t seen any sincere effort from the government to create awareness about social media or connect with its own people.

I have never supported hate speech on any medium but will blocking Facebook or Twitter solve the problem? Hate speech and circulation of objectionable content has been on the Internet before these networks were born. Objectionable content should be removed but clamping or policing social media is not physically possible or should be even thought of. But unless the MPs and government think, blocking the entire Internet will be the one solution of all problems.

Image courtesy: Centreright.in