Tuesday, November 20, 2012

san jose mercury news on india's muzzling of the internet. katju talked about fascism, so blame him, not me


“We are living in a democracy, not a fascist dictatorship.”

— Markandey Katju, former Supreme Court judge in India, in a letter to the Maharashtra chief minister protesting the arrest of two women over a Facebookposting and “Like.” A 21-year-old college student reportedly posted a criticism of a big funeral and “bandh” (strike) to mourn the death over the weekend of Bal Thackeray, founder of the right-wing party Shiv Sena. The strike effectively shut down the city of Mumbai. Her friend “Liked” the post. Both were arrested, detained, then released on bail. The arrest is the latest example of India’s hard line against online comments about police and other officials. In one instance, somebody who complained on Facebook about how little police were doing to find her stolen car was arrested, according to the Christian Science Monitor. Earlier this summer amid deadly violence over online hate speech, Indian authorities asked American companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft to take down content, including fake images of Muslims. (See Quoted: on panic in India and the role of the Internet.)

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