Setup Servers In India, Govt Tells Social Media Giants…Again
Here we go again…The social media giants, like Google, Facebook, Twitter are summoned by the Indian Government to set up their servers in India. Currently most of these social media sites operate with servers set up in the U.S. The reason behind this is the rise in access to online malicious content.
Child pornography is perhaps one of the biggest concerns that need to be tapped today. The inhumane acts of many come to life in the virtual world. Take the Mehdi Masoor Biswas twitter account, Mohanlal’s account hijacked, the Bangalore 6 year old rape episode, all of these had the convicts who had taken to the virtual world to nurture their dark side.
However, this time around the government has said that they will help the Social Media giants to set up their servers in the country, so that any objectionable and malicious content can be tracked and curbed before such content goes viral. Having accepted Mr Shivshankar Menon’s suggestion, the government has immediately called for different propositions to help curb such e-content.
In order to gain control over such questionable content, the best idea is to house the servers here in India.
“We wish to have some control over the content of social networking sites but the hurdle is that all of them are headquartered overseas and content uploading is done abroad. There are jurisdictional issues. So we are planning to ask these sites to have a server in India too so that we can scan them,” said L Nageswara Rao, Additional Solicitor.
Most of the cases of child sexual abuse and rape cases are triggered by online pornographic content. The ease in stumbling upon a pornographic website is way too easy and sometimes the pop up misleading advertisements land the user into those sites. Though the court is still hearing counter arguments against banning adult pornography, child pornography is a non-bailable offense under Section 67B of the IT Act. Communal chaos messages are also on a rise on social media messages, rooting among young minds, messages of condemning other religions and communities.
Supreme Court lawyer seconded this proposition saying, “Making overseas-headquartered sites set up a server in India is essential to protect sovereign rights. It helps in removal of undesirable, illegal and unwarranted content and we can prevent undesirable data on Indians from being illegally transferred outside the country’s territorial boundaries. Germany is already working in this direction.”
Considering that Facebook has it’s second largest user base here in India and with every year, the internet subscribers increasing multi fold, this could be thoughtful move of the government (Atleast they don’t want ban, they want to monitor, which is right.).
In most western countries and in parts of Europe, pornography is legal, while Russia, South Africa and Australia, the pornography has restrictions, but is legal. However, some countries like England, Iceland, Egypt, EU (European Union) are trying to ban the pornographic sites completely.
The Indian Government asked ISPs to block 39 pornographic websites in 2013 and in November 2014 recently, the same issue was readdressed to ISP to block all pornographic contents by upgrading the country’s internet infrastructure.
Government has been trying to get Social media giants to setup servers in India for sometime, let us see if this time they are successful!