Govt seeks more time for ‘consensus’ on Internet controlhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/govt-seeks-more-time-for-consensus-on-internet-control/

Govt seeks more time for ‘consensus’ on Internet control

The motion was later defeated by a voice vote.

The government on Thursday sought more time to evolve a consensus on rules for control of Internet content. Replying to discussion in the Rajya Sabha,Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal said “a consensus will be arrived at after talking to various stakeholders including MPs and industry representatives”.

Sibal was replying to a motion moved by CPM member P Rajeeve for annulling the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules,2011. The motion was later defeated by a voice vote.

“My assurance to the House is that I will request the MPs to write letters to me objecting to any specific words. I will then call a meeting of the members as well as the industry and all stakeholders. We will have a discussion and whatever consensus emerges from it,we will implement it,” Sibal said.

Justifying the rules,the minister said “these are sensitive issues” as most Internet companies are registered abroad and not subjected to Indian laws.

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Rajeeve had said the rules were ultra virus of the provisions of the parent IT Act and violated the freedom of speech and expression.

Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley noted that it is extremely difficult,if not impossible,to defy technology and that the days of withholding information have gone.

He urged the minister to “reconsider the language of restraints” to prevent its misuse. He said he had no objection to the architecture of the Bill but felt “there is need for a balanced approach”.