Self-regulation, strong cyber laws need of the hour

Updated: Jan 22 2007, 07:21am hrs
In the present scenario when the whole world is moving towards freeness, the subject looks like that rather than moving ahead, we are going back in the pastin the period of conservative thoughts.

In view of the present scene on the internet, we feel that if we are not successful in imposing the self-regulations, then any other responsible body should come forward to take this responsibility very seriously to decide about regulating the comments and videos on the internet. Earlier, it was my opinion that before making compulsion or mandating any thing to the citizen, it should be the duty of the government to educate about the subject very thoroughly and then impose regulations on to them.

But what we are observing is that this leniency is being taken very lightly and even making a joke of our patience. An example that is in front of us is that of the Orkut community Hate India and a video on YouTube of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation, surprisingly posted by an NRI.

We always find that Western countries are demanding a level playing field in IT as well as in other sectors from our government. Any harmful material for them is being taken very seriously and through their agencies, they want to get rid of that issue at the earliest. On the contrary, issues related to the Indian community are not taken seriously. For instance, when the White House and Pentagon were visible on Google Earth, immediate action was taken and the same were blacked out from the site.

Similarly, when China protested, the entire country was blacked out. On the same hand, despite a series of protests by us till date, the Rashtrapati Bhawan and our defense bases are still visible. If the pride of their nation is very important for them, then the pride, security and national integrity of our country is very important for us. Indians will not tolerate any bad remarks or derogatory jokes on the Father of the nation and the country.

To control the above things, so that they never happen in future, we think that the government, the only independent body, regulate controversial videos and comments on the internet. And, for the implementation of it successfully, our cyber laws should be made strong.

By this method, what I assume is that at least law-abiding citizens85% of the total population will stop being involved in such activities. As for other countries, we all should come forward by making single rules for all other countries to avoid degradation of the culture of our country.

Apart from the internet, media is also a great source in spreading controversial things to the knowledge of the citizen. If the media says that they are the fourth pillar of our democracy, then it is their responsibility to self-regulate themselves. They ought to realise that controversial videos could hurt the feelings of every Indian.

In the past, ISPAI had made representation to the government to form an independent committee to look into the controversial items being available on the internet and advice accordingly for regulating these things.

The writer is president, Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI)