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Mozilla, Cloudflare and GitHub write joint open letter to Indian Government [pdf] (blog.mozilla.org)
5 points by psankar 12 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

To provide some context, as per the new amendments, the Indian Government wants:

* International companies to setup a physical office in the country, with an executive, who can be legally brought to court, police station etc., if the company has more than 5 million users in India. (Indian population is a Billion strong and has more than 600 million online users)

* Wants automated censorship for unlawful content on their sites

* Wants these companies to remove any content flagged by the Government, within a time period of 24 hours. The companies should also provide user data requested by the Government within 72 hours

Three American companies don't want to operate within the bounds of Indian law? Can you imagine 3 Russian companies not wanting to follow U.S. law, and demanding legal indemnification for their actions, in a letter to Congress.

It's not a stretch to understand that Indians don't want foreign interference in their politics, and public discourse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism will not take us anywhere.

As a resident Indian, I would say, America is an astrnomically more democratic nation than India. You can make fun of Trump in primetime television, share it in youtube and still live happily. In India, you cannot even talk against a small circle politician or Police and not feel threatened for your life.

The Indian Governments have been notoriously interested in removing any content that may even be slightly critical of them. Look at the Google transparency index for India and the increase in the number of items requested to be taken down in the recent past https://transparencyreport.google.com/government-removals/by...

Also, India is probably the leader in internet shutdowns across the world https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/14/opinions/india-world-lead...

These new law amendments have got nothing to do with the sovereignty of India but are just tools for censorship and intimidation.

There's no whataboutism here - it's 3 American (foreign) companies petitioning a democratically elected local government for a free pass. Sorry, no quarter. Especially for technocratic elitist valley companies fully aware of their ability to control & shape the zeitgeist, with a history of having to defend their blatantly partisan practices in congressional hearings [1][2][3][4]. These companies are falling over themselves in an effort to cut off political advertising on their platforms, just in time for the 2020 elections, sensing an opposition faction victory[5][6], while simultaneously singing praises of the Obama campaign's 2008/2012 actions of the exact same kind [7].

Your circular references to transparency reports from the very same companies petitioning for a pass isn't convincing. CNN literally settled in court, not 8 hours ago for defamation against kids [8], whose politics they despise, despite no wrongdoing on part of the kids. These companies aren't neutral third parties, nor are they benign. They have their agendas - shaped by the powerful at their helm, who quite literally cried because an opposition party came to power [9]

As for Indian TV's criticism of the ruling party, I'm told that there is a healthy and powerful political opposition party, replete with a sympathetic media faction that openly takes their side (as are channels aligned with the ruling party), and Twitter seems to be teeming with criticisms of the establishment. India's press is generally considered free, and freedom of expression rankings are also generally high, apart from the hate-speech laws implemented by the previous administration?

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CX6LlEcJ4nw

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzF7nBmwPso

[3]: https://youtu.be/DXyU0LOqKPM?t=5111

[4]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ik_kzn3etsE

[5]: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/30/twitter-bans-political-ads-a...

[6]: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politic...

[7]: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/17/obama-digital-...

[8]: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/01/07/nick-s...

[9]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73eW4qjZOQw

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