NYT interviews Sachin Pilot on Internet Censorship

In what seems like an exercise to clean up the air on the governments plan to regulate online content, Mr. Sachin Pilot has given an interview to NYTanswering several direct questions posed by them. While I do not agree with much of his opinion and comments, the attempt to answer direct questions posed by NYT is a good confidence building measure. It also helps us understand the concerns of the government and its plan for content regulation.

Having said this, my major point of disagreement is with Mr. Pilot’s assessment of the Intermediaries Rules. In the interview when asked as to whether the Intermediaries Rules, 2011 which were passed in April lead to censorship and have chilling effect on online speech, the Minister for State answers:

I don’t think that assessment is fair at all. We have free speech and we respect it, I think it is one of the greatest things we have in this country. People are allowed to say exactly what they want.

People may be allowed to say what they want, but now with the intermediaries rules, others who are offended by such speech are allowed to pressure an intermediary to take down such content as well. I have written at length on this and even an empirical study carried out by CIS confirms it.

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