Sibal sticks to stern view of websiteshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/sibal-sticks-to-stern-view-of-websites/

Sibal sticks to stern view of websites

Sibal reiterated that internet must face same restrictions on speech as channels,newspapers.

Minister for IT,Kapil Sibal,on Thursday reiterated that the internet must face the same restrictions on speech as television channels and newspapers.

“The print media is subject to the laws of the country. The electronic media is subject to the laws of the country. Why should online media not follow the laws of the land?… Instead,they say,‘If my server is in the US,why should I abide by these restrictions,” Sibal said at the release of his book,My World Within,published by Roli Books.

However,Sibal said the government would persist with efforts to form an “informal mechanism” to take down content seen as “obscene” or harmful to public order. He also said rancour in Parliament had stopped politicians from taking a broader view of their role in society. “Politicians must realise that life is temporary,their seats are temporary and their terms in Parliament are temporary,” Sibal said.

He read out some poems at the launch,ranging the personal and the political. A stanza from one on the 2002 Gujarat riots reads: “the cult of hate bred on itself protectors too were loath to help.”

Another,dedicated to Sibal’s wife,reads: “When last you did get dressed to go to watch with me the latest show? I saw a crowd stand by the gate yet once again they sealed my fate.” The poems were written on the minister’s mobile phone. “It is easy to erase all that I don’t like,” he says in the book’s acknowledgements.