About Raj

Censorship and Internet in India

User's Message-to CMD for censorship of "xxx" sites
The Author's Views
- Observations and Opining
A Posting-
About censorship From india-gii@cpsr.com mailinglist

Related Links

Suggested software -For Parental control of of "xxx" sites
Electronic Frontier Foundation - Repository of Information about fight for Freedom of Speech in USA
High Court Suit against censorship - A suit filed and pending in High Court against censorship
Electronic Frontier Foundation - Read about CDA (Communication Decency Act) and COPA (Child Online Protection Act.
Censorship and Internet in India: Can We Keep Internet In India free?
by Dr. Raj Mehta

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of author alone. VSNL has nothing to do with it whatsoever.)

This article is triggered of by a cc sent to me by a VSNL user. This user wrote a message to CMD, VSNL, in response his new year greeting message. He wished that VSNL should block "`xxx'(pornographic ) sites".

I feel that issue of censorship is far too important to be left alone. It is an issue one can't be neutral. One has to take sides. Not just the opinions of the user or mine has value. But anyone who cares to express has right to be heard on this matter. In fact, I invite anyone and everyone to send me a feedback. Please note that if you send me a feedback on this matter, I will assume that you would not mind it to be published here. I would not seek any further permission from the author of the feedback.

I am not sure why the user sent me the cc? But I can see it is not going to have the result he desired.

I am totally opposed to censorship in any form. I believe that freedom of speech and expression is a very fundamental to a civilized human society. It is one of the safeguards we have for correction and can prevent us going totally off the tangent, as a society.

Please note that I am not questioning the right of a parents to prevent their children visiting pornographic sites. This can be easily done by them by installing appropriate software of the computer which will prevent anyone to visit "xxx" sites. Please check out http://www.neosoft.com/parental-control. Or do search on say altavista for the software which will prevent such sites.

What I am objecting to is the wish by some people to block such sites completely. Of course technically it will be a massive task as such sites to numerous

My objection arise from the basic fear that if we permit censorship in one case then where will it stop? To marrow some one may want to block all the "Hindu sites" or "Islamic sites" or "Christian sites" or Gujrati or Marathi sites or which deal with any particular idea or concept which someone power may not like. It is very dangerous trend to allow any kind of censorship.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.