Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
G7 accommodates Indian stand on need for Internet curbs:
India has signed off on a joint statement by G-7 and guest countries on “open societies” that reaffirm and encourage the values of “freedom of expression, both online and offline, as a freedom that safeguards democracy and helps people live free from fear and oppression”.
- The statement also refers to “politically motivated internet shutdowns” as one of the threats to freedom and democracy.
The joint statement was signed by the G-7 countries, and India, South Korea, Australia and South Africa, with host British Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling them “Democracies 11”.
What India said on the need for internet curbs?
Open societies are particularly vulnerable to disinformation and cyber-attacks. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that “cyberspace remains an avenue for advancing democratic values and not of subverting it”. Hence, curbs on certain occasions are necessary.
India has been under scrutiny over Internet curbs in Jammu and Kashmir even as the Government is locked in a face-off over its new IT rules with tech giants such as Twitter, which described a police search at its offices in India last month as a “potential threat to freedom of expression”.
- Similar communication shutdowns were witnessed in Delhi and Assam during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act during 2019-2020 and the farmer’s protest last January.
What procedure does the government follow to suspend Internet services?
The Information Technology Act, 2000, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973 and the Telegraph Act, 1885 are the three laws that deal with suspension of Internet services.
- But before 2017, Internet suspension orders were issued under section 144 of the CrPC.
- In 2017, the central government notified the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Service) Rules under the Telegraph Act to govern suspension of Internet.
- These Rules derive their powers from Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, which talks about interception of messages in the “interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.
- Section 144 of the CrPC.
- About Indian Telegraph Act.
- Key Provisions of the IT Act 2000.
- Anuradha Bhasin case (2020) is related to?
- Article 370 of the Constitution.
Discuss about the various impacts of internet suspension in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir.
Sources: the Hindu.