News Heading : US to India: Preserve internet freedom
Post Date : 2011-12-09
News Source : Times Of India
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The United States has waded into the controversy over the government's move to filter user content on social media sites by asking India to preserve freedom of speech on the internet.
A US embassy statement did not directly refer to ongoing flap over the government asking companies such as Facebook and Twitter to screen content that could be deemed objectionable but the fact that the American are inveigling themselves into the issue could raise the hackles of the Indian government.
"The US position on internet freedom is clear. By protecting these rights in the digital era, we preserve the promise and the possibility of the internet as a platform for ideas, innovation, connection, and economic growth," a statement quoted US Embassy spokesman Le McManis as saying.
On Monday, talks between the information technology department and representatives of internet and social media companies on the issue of monitoring content deemed objectionable failed after the companies said they need a court order to take down content that is not illegal.
This prompted communications minister Kapil Sibal to say on Tuesday that the government will find a way of stopping cybernasties by framing the right guidelines.
By making a public statement on the issue, the US is in danger of exposing itself to accusations of double-standards instead of helping freedom of speech on the internet.
The US Congress is in the process of passing a law to prevent online piracy, but companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook say the proposed legislation comes with the threat of internet censorship.
The companies claimed in a recent letter to member of Congress that in the name of preventing copyright infringement, the US "would expose law-abiding US internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of websites."
Tribunal asks DoT not to encash guarantees of Loop, Etisalat
Telecom tribunal TDSAT has directed DoT not to encash or seek the renewal of performance bank guarantees by Loop Telecom and Etisalat DB.
In an interim order over two separate petitions filed by Loop Telecom and Etisalat, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal said that till its further direction, the DoT would not demand any new bank guarantees from them.
The petitions sought TDSAT directive to the Department of Telecom for the release of guarantees submitted in lieu of spectrum allotted to them, claiming they have rolled out the networks.
The tribunal has listed the matter on December 22 for next hearing.
Loop Telecom, which has been allotted licences for 21 circles, submitted before the tribunal that it has completed its roll-out obligations and as per the terms and conditions, its PBG should now be released.
It further submitted that its guarantee was slated to expire in the first week of December and requested the tribunal to give interim protection, as DoT may take some action against it.
Etisalat DB had approached the tribunal with the argument that as per Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) terms and conditions, their PBG should be released.