India Internet Law No. GSR629(E)

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Date: 2003

Region: Asia

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion, Nudity

Medium: Public Art, Electronic Media


Artist: Web designers.

Confronting Bodies: Information Technology division of the Government of India.

Dates of Action: August 1, 2003.

Location: Mumbai, India.

Description of Artwork: Websites deemed by the Indian government to promote hate, slander, defamation, gambling, racism, violence, terrorism, pornography, child pornography, and violent sex.

The Incident: The Indian government passed a law enabling it sweeping authorization to police the internet. The order- No. GSR629(E)- equates the monitoring of the internet with balancing the flow of information and specifically denies any allegation of censorship. However, the law grants many agencies such as the state home departments, the courts, police etc. to submit complaints regarding any website to an Information Technology department of the government, which then makes a spot decision to block out the site. There is no hearing process for the web designer, and the Information Technology department's decision is final.

Results of Incident: The law is currently in place and the screening process is ongoing.

Source: The Times of India Online (www.timesofindia.com)