Google: Blanket ban, content monitoring against Constitution


12 Jan 2012
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Google: Blanket ban, content monitoring against Constitution


NEW DELHI: US-based search engine Google Inc, facing a civil lawsuit along with 21 other websites for allegedly hosting objectionable contents on its web posts, has told a Delhi court that the blanket ban and monitoring of material would be against the right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Indian Constitution.

In a reply, filed before Administrative Civil Judge Parveen Singh, Google Inc said, "Its mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Most services offered by it are premised on sharing of information and knowledge without the exercise of any editorial control or of monitoring by it."

The US giant is being impleaded as a party in the civil suit filed by Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi through his lawyer Santosh Pandey seeking to restrain it and 21 other websites from posting objectionable contents and removal of existing ones from their web posts.

Seeking to set aside the case against it, the company said that a blanket ban on certain contents from being carried by "platforms" would not be legal, given the fact that the Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression.

Google Inc also filed written statements on behalf of its subsidiaries -- Orkut and Youtube -- saying they offer various products and services that have been developed with the intention of providing platforms for the exchange of ideas to enable communication and to allow access of information.

It said that,, and are the online platforms facilitating access to information and entertainment and the content is user generated.

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