Google bows to censorship pressure in India

Internet behemoth Google has agreed to pull content from its Indian website, bowing to government pressure.

Judge Mukesh Kumar, of a New Delhi district court, successfully put pressure on the company to down controversial, allegedly inflammatory content.

Ajiaz Arshad filed a civil suit against a range of the big internet players which operate in the country, including Facebook and Yahoo. Arshad argued that the content was religiously intolerant and would have potentially spiralled out of control, causing unrest, reports the Wall Street Journal

Parts of India, says the WSJ, are changing their mind about the way the internet is used. Groups against censorship think going through the courts to delist material online flies in the face of free speech.

Google said its decision to remove the content corresponded with its “longstanding policy of responding to court orders”. Only Google’s services in India will be effected. However, the company also recently told the courts that censoring the internet is beyond it. This is the line Facebook has been using. 

It has been argued that, rather than worrying about civil unrest, powerful figures in the country are upset about people openly criticising problems like corruption, bribery and nepotism.