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Google Aids Indian Goverment Censorship

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-be-what? dept.

Censorship 245

An anonymous reader writes "Google's Orkut has made a deal to provide IP addresses of posters of content deemed objectionable by Bombay police. They object, among others, to posts against certain Indian personalities, young women admiring Indian mobsters, and, amazingly, "anti-Indian words" (!)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hey! (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326421)

Finally, something we can be happy about getting outsourced...sorta.

If America is to compete in the global economy (0)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327545)

apparently we need to be more like this in order to get the jobs sent to us.

Go figure.

here it goes: Beef is good (5, Funny)

kaufmanmoore (930593) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326441)

....Whats that knocking at my door?

Re:here it goes: Beef is good (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326683)

Its not as bad as this guy! [mudfall.com]

Re:here it goes: Beef is good (4, Interesting)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327213)

Thats the local beef-vendor.
It would have been the police had you started a community on the lines of "OMG! PaKiStan is teh roxxorz.. iNdIa is komplete sucks"

Re:here it goes: Beef is good (3, Funny)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327823)

You have been hereby charged with eating beef, I sentance you to become a snail in your next lifetime --Indian Judge

"Don't be evil"?? (4, Interesting)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326451)

I'm usually in the "whatever, they have to do business" crowd with google, but this isn't in any grey area, it's downright black.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1, Flamebait)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326465)

I'd be ok with it, or at least *more* ok with it, if they didn't claim to be 'good'. They stopped being anything close to that the day they went public.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326523)

Why the day they went public, out of curiosity? Do you have anything backing that up, or is this just a useless anti-corporate rant?

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (3, Interesting)

antonyb (913324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326717)

Honestly not wanting to troll on this, but is it not possible that the definition of 'good' depends on the locale they are operating in? The idea that Freedom of Speech is 'good' and Censorship is 'bad' is not necessarily a universal truth?


I dunno. Too early to be thinking about this stuff.

ant.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Interesting)

241comp (535228) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326803)

Well, our country was founded on the belief that those are natural (or unalienable) rights (that is, rights that exist in and of themselves, outside of government). They were explicitly stated so that there would be no confusion because they were among the most import of such natural rights. This does not prove that "The idea that Freedom of Speech is 'good' and Censorship is 'bad'" is a universal truth, but our country was founded on the belief that it is a universal truth... that must count for something.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327301)

Right. Our country. Said article is about India, where Cows rank higher. Also, they invented Karma. Which I think I shalt preserve by anon-posting...

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327409)

Unless the Google founders are Unamerican then they believe censorship is bad.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Funny)

deevnil (966765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327067)

Just because this is slashdot Google gets a bunch of grief. I'll bet if it was Microsoft out doing evil then..... oh.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326603)

I'm usually in the "whatever, they have to do business" crowd with google, but this isn't in any grey area, it's downright black.

How so? You want to play in India, you play by their rules. You can argue that India is doing the black, but Google is just playing by the rules.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326637)

Last I checked the Nuremberg defence was invalid.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327559)

In point of fact, the trials at Nuremberg involved several defences. Have you read the transcripts? I have.

One of the biggest points of the defence was that the court did not have jurisdiction. Why not? Because it was not a court established by germans, in authority over germans, by any recognised process nor accepted by germans either. Particularly, the people being tried were being tried after the fact for acts which, at the time and in the place performed, were not criminal in the jursidiction which held sway. The court didn't bother to respond to this at all beyond casually sweeping the objection aside.

And not a few of them were taken from there to a place of punishment where they were hanged by the neck until dead.

This is the problem with suspending habeus corpus; the right of appeal and the limitations of applicable jurisdiction no longer afford you protection. It's as if farmers got rounded up and taken to the High Court of PETA Justice (once the revolution of animal-respecting violence takes place) at which they were tried, convicted and executed for raising cattle for the meat market during the current regime. (Note for the hair-trigger knee-jerk idiots out there: I'm not comparing jews, gypsies, mentally troubled, politically unpopular, homosexual or otherwise unpopular figures with farm animals. I'm comparing the activities with respect to legislative circumstances.)

Let's be clear about this: if national independence means anything whatsoever, at the very least it defines jurisdictions; where the law and system of one place stops and another place starts. To charge people for things and ignore jurisdiction is as biased as simply establishing a kangaroo court of any other sort. If you want another example, somewhat less charged than the Nazi trials, I would like to point out that the age of consent in much of Europe is substantially lower than that in much of the USA. Ditto drinking ages. Should the french government hunt down and lock up or hang BATFE agents for persecuting young drinkers? That's the logic of Nuremberg for you.

To close the loop of relevance: welcome to the world of globalisation. Different jurisdictions mean different obligations. If you want american companies to run by american rules, ban them from maintaining servers and networks outside the USA, or running them by non-american rules.

And see how far that gets you.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327561)

Last I checked the Nuremberg defence was invalid.

This article gives no indication that Orkut is collaborating with Bad People.

If you want to do business in the US, you follow American laws. If you want to do business in Mexico, you follow Mexican laws. If you want to do business in China, you follow Chinese laws. If you want to do business in Russia, you pay lots of bribes.

What's the problem?

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Insightful)

Tsagadai (922574) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326655)

Playing by the rules is supporting them. If google is helping crazy regimes stay in power that is a very bad thing. Just like in war you have a choice whether to pull the trigger. You may be killed (metaphorically or physically) for your decision but you can't sit on the fence it's yes or no.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

antonyb (913324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326765)

Most people I know here would happily admit that there are aspects of the Indian political system that are crazy; however, it is hardly a crazy regime - India is not Iran...


ant.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326743)

Translation [long]: If someone's rules are evil, that totally gives you karmic amnesty when you carefully look over those rules, understand them, and still choose to play their game.

Translation [short]: I can't be bothered with moral nit-picking! There's money to be made!

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Informative)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327423)

you want to play in India, you play by their rules. You can argue that India is doing the black, but Google is just playing by the rules.

What do you mean by "rules"? If you RTFA, it seems Google is coperating above and beyond the extent required by law. The police are congratulating them for not making them do any paperwork before handing over the IPs and other identifying details of anyone who posts anything deemed "offensive". No doubt Googel is coverd by its terms of sevice and such. But that's not the point.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327527)

it seems Google is coperating above and beyond the extent required by law. The police are congratulating them for not making them do any paperwork before handing over the IPs and other identifying details of anyone who posts anything deemed "offensive".

Or... Orkut might be thinking: "Indian magistrates rubber-stamp these kinds of police requests anyway, so lets just set up an electronic request process and make our lives easier."

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (4, Insightful)

yali (209015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328055)

You want to play in India, you play by their rules.

If your motto is "don't be evil" and India's rules require you to be evil, then you shouldn't want to play in India. Otherwise you're an evil hypocrite.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (3, Interesting)

homer_s (799572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327335)

Just curious - would the US govt be interested in message boards where ppl are discussing how to bomb a building?

Then why shouldn't the India govt be interested in boards where people are planning/ inciting the next riots [wikipedia.org]

. Of course, having observed how the riots always occur at convenient times for the local politicos, I don't believe for one minute that this has anything to do with public safety. But I do question the holier than thou attitude adopted by many Americans over free speech when their military has willingly killed journalists [artvoice.com] many [counterpunch.org] many [guardian.co.uk] times.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327623)

Not an American, I'm Australian and I fully support our racial/religious vilification laws, as well as the laws against inciting crime.
However I do not support our sedition laws and for good reason.

You're right that if you change the article to be more benign your point makes sense though, however the actual example in tfa was

Mohite talks of a citizen who had complained to the police in November regarding a photograph of her posted on Orkut, along with derogatory text.

Hardly encouraging a riot.

Saying I'm adopting a holier-than-thou attitude seems a little far-fetched as well, seeing as it was Google I was criticising, not the Indian govt.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (2, Informative)

homer_s (799572) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328087)

The last line was not directed at your post specifically, but at the many other posts comparing India to China.

But I'd go further than you and say any censorship is bad.
Take you 'religious vilification laws' for example - how do you define a religion? Now you have got the govt involved in defining the word religion. Some idiot will come up with a new religion that worships the Kiwi bird (I can start such a religion in India within 10min) - now would everyone stop insulting Kiwis?

And what constitutes vilification or insult? What if I say 'Buddhists are nuts'? Is that vilification? How about 'Buddhists are misguided'? Where do you draw the line? We have a problem in India where evangelical Christians preach that anyone who does not believe in Christ will go to hell. There are a lot of Hindu groups (read: politicians nervous about elections) who say that this is an insult to Hindus.

About 'inciting crime' - what constitutes inciting? If you let a govt define such subjective things, they will use it to make criminals of everyone.

Generally, govt should just protect people and their property and not get involved in nebulous concepts like religion, culture, etc.

And oh, btw, get ready to worship the Kiwi overlords - they look like the one time to beat Aus in the WC.

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328157)

It's a Governments job to define things such as that, laws.

Kiwi's getting anywhere near the WC... BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327877)

I'm okay with censorship in a democracy. People got what they voted for. After all, for a non american, libel and copyright laws could be seen as censorship (and Google also helps to enforce these)

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327981)

Google is a company and not a non-for-profit-feed-the-starving-children organisation. Let's get that out of the way first...

Google's sole allegience is to their investors, period. What the investors want? Surprise! - Money! Google at any moment will evaluate the function called f$$$="how much money are we making?" and try to maximize it. They are not there to spread good, love, freedom and democracy. They are maximizing f$$$. When they stop doing it they will stop existing as a company.

But I can hear thousands of Sladotters' voices saying "But doesn't Google do good things and isn't it nicer than Microsoft? You better say YES or we'll mod you into oblivion, traitor!" The answer is that the whole "do no evil" and being nice _is_ part of maximizing f$$$. It has been determined that a company that says "we do no evil" will make more money under certain conditions. Granted when the comany was just the 2 founders they did mean "do no evil" because they would "do no evil", I understand that. But as the company grew it wasn't just the two founders, it turned into a regular public traded company, just as good and just as evil as any other.

This explains why Google is "forced" very often to trump the "do no evil" priority with the "make max $$$" priority. If one would really want to test the "goodness" of Google they would have to point to an instance where Google chose to do "good" at the expense of taking a significant loss (and know about it in advance). So far the China deal and other such happenings point that Google is only maximizing f$$$. Do I think that it is evil? - No. Do I think they are the embodiment of "Mother Theresa - No. Are they just a regular company who is very succesful? - Yes!

Of course the real problem here is with the adjectives of "good" and "evil". One can write a dissertation on how "my good" is not "your good" and how to redefine them for profit. But's that's another comment as they say...

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328053)

American corporations are - at the absolute best - ambivalent about the privacy and well-being of the American worker, consumer and citizen. Why would you expect them to treat people in other countries any better?

Re:"Don't be evil"?? (1)

TitusC3v5 (608284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328105)

Every time we see an article like this, this issue is brought up. Now, get me wrong, it does disappoint me to see actions like this taken by Google, but as far as I can see, they *ARE* actually trying their best to follow their code, even though it may not seem so at first glance.

If you take a look at Google's ten commandments [google.com] , you'll notice two things that most Slashdotters seem to miss. First, for "You can make money without doing evil," never does it mention a goal of being morally white. What is does say is that for the service they are providing, they will be straightforward in their advertising. If you read over the sixth entry, the entire piece is about their advertising and their ruleset concerning it. To Google, I think 'Don't be evil' is more an issue of being straightforward with their advertising than any idealogical framework concerning how their business conducts itself.

Second, if you scroll down a bit further, there's another entry there that says "The need for information crosses all borders." Even if the previous entry was meant to be a moral compass for them concerning issues like what we've seen with China and India, you would have a conflict here. Do they do no even, and tell India to play by their rules or their taking their ball and leaving, or do they swallow the censorship pill and place international availability above this?

As I said before, I would prefer to see Google refrain from such politically-driven censorship, but at the same time it doesn't really see to contradict their business philosophy in the manner that is often portrayed here.

well (3, Insightful)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326463)

Well if Google doesnt bow to the Indian government they will lose money. The "dont be evil" mantra would seem to contradict this move.

Re:well (4, Interesting)

giminy (94188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326841)

Well if Google doesnt bow to the Indian government they will lose money. The "dont be evil" mantra would seem to contradict this move.

Quite right. Which means, by extension, "don't be evil" and "IPO" are a bit at odds. Pulling out of India over this means lost shareholder revenue. Lost shareholder revenue means lawsuits. Lawsuits mean suffering...

So yeah, I would say "don't be evil" died a while ago.

Re:well (-1, Troll)

evanism (600676) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327015)

come on.... Google are a corporation... they "sold out" years ago. This pretend DBE is BS and everyone knows it. They would sell their grandmothers if they could.

Re:well (-1, Flamebait)

the100rabh (947158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327189)

Come on guys...If there are sites like Hail Hitler or Long live Osama or any of the creepy fellows wont u like those to be blocked...Or r u supporters of neo-nazis...Besides what help are the communities which glorify the killers of hundreds of Indians in the Bombay blast that happened some time back. When u dont understand the Indian ethos...Stop blabbering...I doubt how many of u know name of capital of India...But blabbering never stops....Also tell whats the purpose of a community like Assohles r US...
They dont serve any meaningful purpose. They induce hatred which is best brought down...
I would love to see some Osama fan on facebook and orkut and how the US government reacts to it. May be some assholes will try and glorify the WTC attack. Then what happens lets see *100rabh ducks*

Re:well (3, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327647)

Come on guys...If there are sites like Hail Hitler or Long live Osama or any of the creepy fellows wont u like those to be blocked...

No, I don't want them to be blocked. They have as much right to say "Hail Hitler" as I have to say "Hail Linux." You can't censor somebody because you disagree with their opinion.

Or r u supporters of neo-nazis...

I'm a supporter of their right to free speech.

May be some assholes will try and glorify the WTC attack. Then what happens lets see *100rabh ducks*

Somebody already glorified the WTC attacks. There have been at least a couple movies...

Do know Evil? (0, Flamebait)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326471)

Google made my list of sucky corporations a long time ago.
I've banned google from my network. There's a new search engine in town.
http://clusty.com/ [clusty.com]

See ya google.

Re:Do know Evil? (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327113)

Clusty has the best clustered results by far. I think if they can speed up their engine speed for faster response they can be a legit competitor to google overtime.

Re:Do know Evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18328227)

You managed to not only get the slogan wrong (It's "Don't be evil.") but also to misspell "no." You have reached the higher echelons of stupidity.

Serves 'em right (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326479)

Go ahead and take our jobs. Go ahead and complete the work in an incompetent fashion. Go ahead and increase the average call time 300% because every single word needs to be spelled so Apu can look it up and attempt to use the call center's Chinese box.
In 20 years your subcontinent will be starving to death, glutted with two billion people and still lacking indoor plumbing.

Bombay police? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326489)

It's *Mumbai*, you anti-Indian clod!

Non-authoritative answer:
Name: slashdot.org
Address: 66.35.250.150

Mumbai (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326503)

It hasn't been named Bombay in years.

Then again, that's not how you spell "Government" either.

Also - read the end of the not-so-fine article. Yes, undoubtedly there's evil at play. On the other hand, if something illegal was done (the police were involved, one can only sadly assume the 'posting of picture with derogatory comments' was of an illegal nature over there), there shouldn't be any reason for Orkut protecting the suspect perp. Though filing a subpoena for the information (thus not bypassing the judicial system) would be much preferable. /no-karma anon

Re:Mumbai (1)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327171)

I still call it 'Bombay' - you insensitive clods, and so do most people i know (particularly those who live in Bombay).

Re:Mumbai (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327511)

like hell they do, unless your friends are English Colonialist pigs. Indians also now refer to Calcutta as Kolkatta.

Re:Mumbai (2, Interesting)

XchristX (839963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327837)

Bottom line is that it's about revitalizing our culture, to which we have every right. The original name of the region was "Mumbai" (after Mumbadevi the Sea-Goddess of the fishermen). If the Irish can call "Dublin" "Baile Átha Cliath" then we can call "Bombay" "Mumbai" for the same bloody reasons.

Business Sense (5, Funny)

biocute (936687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326509)

Great news. The sooner Google acts like a real corporation the better.

It's time to stop this "Don't be evil" BS and get on with its obligation to its shareholders.

Having said that, if DBE actually does bring in more profit, or BE brings down profit, Google is then expected to DBE.

In short, act like a business and protect the bottom line, not teh "line".

Re:Business Sense (5, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326879)

"Business" is no excuse for immorality.

Re:Business Sense (3, Insightful)

espergreen (849246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327383)

Neither is Government.

Re:Business Sense (3, Insightful)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327401)

Is it really immoral to cooperate with the police in a criminal investigation?

Re:Business Sense (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327505)

It certainly can be, if the investigation itself is immoral. Surely you've heard of the fallacious "Nuremberg defense"?

Re:Business Sense (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327537)

"Business" is no excuse for immorality.

Businesses don't have morality, they have ethics.
Business ethics are a different beast than personal morals.

Example - Company X is being fined every day for their dumping of [bad stuff] into the local waterway. Changing their business practice would be more expensive than paying the fines.
Q: Is this immoral?
A: Maybe.

Q: Is this unethical?
A: No.

Re:Business Sense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327731)

Businesses don't have morality, they have ethics.
No offense, but ethics is "a system of moral principles" [reference.com] (aka, a set of rules governing what proper conduct is). Ethical and moral are synonyms. It could just as easily long ago have been called business morals instead of business ethics.

You Want Human Furnaces? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327709)

You want to start a business making and selling human furnaces to second and third world countries? Hearing someone dismiss "Do No Evil" so easily and blindly is very fucked up. In addition you are probably educated and from a first world country which makes it all the more tragic.

Nailing them... (1)

lancelet (898272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326517)

Interesting that the article puts such a positive spin on the ability of the cops to "nail" their suspects in this way.

That's nothing! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326535)

Thats nothing. Read below the comments on the article, where police blame Orkut for helping organize a party where drugs were used.

Seriously. Orkut used to organize party = Drugs used at party = Orkut bad? I don't think so.

I thought India was atleast a pretend democracy?

Re:That's nothing! (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327071)

"I thought India was atleast a pretend democracy?"

India happens to be the world's largest democracy, their voting system is simpler and more secure than what can be found in recent US elections.

Re:That's nothing! (1)

blackicye (760472) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327565)

"India happens to be the world's largest democracy, their voting system is simpler and more secure than what can be found in recent US elections."

In theory it is, in practice though, one has to question how much simpler and more secure it is. The lack of high level manipulation of the elections, Corporate lobbys, campaign contributions etc. Usually gives way to more grassroots friendly approaches to "vote purchasing" and vote rigging, stipends, developmental funds, basic infrastructure etc. Due largely to the great disparity in wealth between the middle and upper classes and the the vast majority dwelling between that and below the poverty line.

Re:That's nothing! (1)

prash_n_rao (465747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327475)

thought India was atleast a pretend democracy?
It is a pretend democracy! That's why such things happen.

Yay! I made an anti-India comment on Slashdot. Will someone kindly show this to Bombay's (another anti-Indian word) mobster-police, and get Slashdot censored off?

Re:That's nothing! (1)

XchristX (839963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327587)

The fact that you can say so out loud in the middle of Colaba in Mumbai without getting arrested, strung upside down and flogged with a stick by "Secret Police" proves that it is a REAL democracy Mr "Rao".

Don't like it? Pakistan is just across the border, Balochistani/Waziristani/Taliban/Pukhtunwa terrorists, the Jamaat-e-Islami Islamic Sturmabteilung, various military dictators, warlords in NWFP, 20,000 radical madrassas and everything.Mubarak ho janaab. See ya. Won't wanna be ya.

Sigh... (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326543)

Does Google leadership believe that "Do no evil" "Obey all laws"?

Or have they simply abandoned "Do no evil" in favor of, "Do not much evil, and even then only do it if you want to gain a foothold in countries with rapidly growing economies."?

Time to feel silly, slashdotters... (0, Troll)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326561)

Most people in America are suffering from sample bias when it comes to Indians. Most Indians they meet are the beaming parent of the teen jeopardy champ or the school math club prez or the local spelling bee. Making them think, "may be they got a billion more where they came from". The reality is ofcourse, among the smart Indians a few emigrate to USA and they are the ones Americans usually see personally. The rest of India, is as smart as the cow.

"They insulted our great leader Shivaji" (Shivaji, btw died in 18th century)

"Where? Who? When"

"In the Internet! Dont know who, may be pakistanis. Dont know when"

"Let us declare war against the Internet!!. We will go ten times madder than the Turks went over that stupid cartoon"

Re:Time to feel silly, slashdotters... (5, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326775)

In addition to the fact that many Indians are not as urbane, tolerant, and well-educated as those one encounters in the US, one has to take into account the fact that India is much more diverse ethnically and religiously than the United States, and that many potentially hostile groups live in close proximity. While I don't agree with such censorship, I can understand the desire of the Indian government to keep everybody happy and avoid bloodshed.

(Shivaji, btw died in 18th century)

17th century, actually: 1680.

Re:Time to feel silly, slashdotters... (1)

XchristX (839963) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328091)

Keep in mind that the Chhatrapati retaliation thing was done by a small group of nutjobs (Sambhaji brigade), and the worst they did was raid the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in Pune. No lives were lost, although there was property damage. It was a response to that racist turd James W. Laine publishing a defamatory tirade against Chattrapati Shivaji (one that had precisely zero historical validity or credibility by the way). Also keep in mind that Chattrapati Shivaji is a vital and iconic figure to most Marathas. He was the first warrior in medeival Maratha history to unite the clans into a Confederation that rivaled and eventually exceeded the Mughal Empire in extent and glory. By all historical accounts he was learned, articulate, a brilliant military tactician, a religious pluralist (he revered both Hindu saints like Tukaram as well as Sufi Muslim pirs like Yacob Avaliya) and significantly more tolerant towards different religions than that Islamic Fundamentalist genocidal iconoclastic lunatic Aurangzeb in the Mughal Empire, the inventor of guerilla methods of warfare, an accomplished equestrian etc. All this has created a whole ethos surrounding Shivaji in Marathi culture, much like Robert Bruce in Scotland or Charlemagne in France. If somebody made fun of Robert Bruce in Edinburgh, there would be thousands of Scotsmen in kilts chasing him right off of Arthur's Seat or wherever. So while one can't approve of Sambhaji Brigade's actions, one can certainly understand it in the broad context of human behaviour over cultural icons.

And compare this little spat over Shivaji to the worldwide riots by Muslims over some otherwise insignificant cartoons of Muhammad (incl our Mujahid friends in Kashmir), and you will see that it really was not that big of a deal.

Re:Time to feel silly, slashdotters... (2, Interesting)

thrawn_aj (1073100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326923)

Mod parent +1 (or at least 1 :P)Insightful. (C'mon! "Troll" is a little harsh LOL)

Precisely. I am an immigrant Indian living in the US and I personally feel insulted by that bias, positive as it may be. It results in a weird kind of prejudice wherein if you do something outstanding people are like "well, duh, they're all like that. Big effing deal :P". And under achievement (relative to the OTHER Indians) is reportedly grounds for deportation in some IT companies. To be perfectly clear, I have experienced the first one personally. Since I don't work in IT (merciful Deus :P), I have only heard of the latter (probably hyperbole so please don't bore me by responding to it all at once :P)

It's quite simple - Gaussian distributions are fairly universal. We have our share of nut cases in India, as also religious fundamentalists that could make Pat Robertson blush (well, that's not possible, but you get my drift. Luckily, no one like Ted Haggard as yet =D), awful movies that seem to be cast out of an industrial mold, and idiots of every variety. Also of note are the "lazyass armchair historians" who feel that it is enough to have a rich heritage but who make no effort on their own part to build a better present or plan for a glorious future.

In short, India is just like any other country, including this one. There's good folks and bad folks. There's eminently sensible people on the one hand and the farking idiots on the other. Am I surprising anyone here? :P

More to the point, I am a member of the social site they mention (Orkut) and it's a little silly that someone actually sues Google for "anti-Indian sentiments". Sheesh, get a thicker skin FFS :P. Why would any sensible person be offended by the comments of some random hate monger? Too much time on their hands I suppose :P. Treat opinions like spam people. You just don't read them all. *roll*

The thing about the underworld dons is a horse of a different color. What non-Indians should know is that the "underworld" in India is NOT exactly analogous to the mafia here or the drug cartels in South America. It's a far worse problem than that. To be more precise, the specific don named Dawood Ibrahim can probably be characterized as the Indian version of Osama Bin Laden crossed with Al Capone. In other words, terrorism coupled with the usual kind of racketeering. And there's more noobs like this guy. The Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) blasts of 1993 is a good example (I was actually in school near where they happened back then *brrr*). There's some more recent stuff as well, which I have not been following much in the news.

Suffice to say, if Indians wanted to establish something akin to the Patriot Act, these are the dudes who'll be first on the dinner menu :P. So, not SO crazy in this PARTICULAR instance. I would suggest that they not try to close them down though. Illegally hacking into them and monitoring them might be more profitable in the long-term ;-). What are Intelligence Agencies for anyway? LOL

Re:Time to feel silly, slashdotters... (1)

Web Goddess (133348) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327247)

Mod parent +1 (or at least 1 :P)Insightful.

Let the moderators do their jobs; they don't need your 2c.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

nick1000 (914998) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327225)

Its not a troll.

Not another China (2, Insightful)

koreth (409849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326565)

I've defended Google's China policy, but it seems like they're just flat-out in the wrong on this one (assuming, that is, that we're getting the whole story here.) I am having a very hard time seeing what greater good is served here. In China they are withholding information their users want. Not great but they are at least servicing the users' requests, just not as fully as one would prefer. Here they are giving out information their users presumably expected to remain private, in direct opposition to their users' intentions. Bad Google.

Re:Not another China (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327733)

assuming, that is, that we're getting the whole story here.

That sounds like a big assumption to me. I don't know the full details, but TFA is wide-eyed and heavily slanted against the groups in question. Slashdot spins it as a censorship and Google story, but the article is about how they can "finally" get rid of that "objectionable" material.

It also misspells "YouTube", which is not a particularly difficult word to spell and causes me to doubt the research and editing of the article.

Thought crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326569)

Those who censor either believe that lies triumph over truth, or seek to advance their own agenda.

I have no doubt those who are responsible for this censorship in India are making this move so they can appear as patriots in order to gain power and then screw over the country. If they truly believed in India, they would see no reason to censor.

If the censoring crowd believes that lies triumph over truth that speaks very poorly of their character, and shows that they themselves would see the value in lying to protect themselves.

Fris7 st0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326653)

Goddammit Google (1)

Petey_Alchemist (711672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326713)

What part of "Do No Evil" is difficult to understand?

Maybe you should hire a couple linguists to complement your thousands of engineers.

Re:Goddammit Google (1)

Voice of Meson (892271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326979)

I know, bloody Google engineers! They've created a Google AIDS now?

They might want to start monitoring this 'one day off a week for your own projects' thing.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326719)

...but wasn't there some kind of agreement between the big search engines to stop doing this short of shit?

Standby for Google Spin (in Beta!) (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326733)

What about Sergei's recent public hand wringing that Google's deal with the Chinese Communist Party was a mistake?

http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/01/27/18 39238 [slashdot.org]

Shows how disingenuous that hand wringing was.

On the bright side, at least Google aren't just cutting deals with totalitarian governments. They're now making political censorship deals with democratically-elected governments too! A Googlestroika, if you will.

Lost along the way . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18326873)

I am pretty sure that the real meaning and direction of the ban was lost smewhere along the way. Because the police recently busted a massive drugs-distribution joint in East Pune. The whole joint seemed to work via Orkut. The real reason behind this action must be this and not primarily focused on "anti-indian words"

Did Indians forgot to put something like; (1)

guabah (968691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326875)

No law shall be made abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
in their constitution?

Re:Did Indians forgot to put something like; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327151)

Article 19.(a) of the constitution guarantees free speech.

http://www.leftjustified.com/leftjust/lib/sc/ht/wt p/india.html [leftjustified.com]

I could not find the official version. The Mumbai police are notorious for corruption and abusing human rights.
Now yet another reason to stay the hell away from Mumbai.

Re:Did Indians forgot to put something like; (1)

guabah (968691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327309)

IANAIL(I am not an Indian Lawyer) But it seems by the version you have linked that the state does reserve some rights to restrict freedom of speech.

Re:Did Indians forgot to put something like; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327901)

We did not forget. But we also have a subclause which denies this right under certain circumstances.

Article 19 Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. [source: WikiPedia ]

(1) All citizens shall have the right -

(a) to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) to assemble peaceably and without arms;

(c) to form associations or unions;

(d) to move freely throughout the territory of India;

(e) to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India; and

(f) to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

(2) Nothing in sub-clause (a) of clause (1) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub-clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

Although this is not effective measure by Mumbai police dept to control the proliferation of anti-indian websites, there is not much conspiracy here from our govt. This issue is not so similar to the NDA .

Expectations (2, Informative)

towsonu2003 (928663) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326905)

Expect a similar move from the Turkish government [slashdot.org] soon.

This Story Will Be Banned... (1)

I'll Provide The War (1045190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18326931)

For using the anglicised colonial name for Mumbai. The fact that 'Bombay' is not found in the article makes this transposition appear to be a purposeful and hostile action.

Re:This Story Will Be Banned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327753)

you dont know what the fuck you are talking about. Vast majority of Indians ,including mumbai residents don't despise the word "Bombay". The name change was done due to the political pressure exerted by a very small radical hindu group RSS on their national alliance Bharitheeya Janatha Party which is not the ruling party now. This whole issue is as stupid as it gets. No Indians are fighting over them.

Thank you for jumping to conclusions on random facts you insensitive karma whore.

Other sources? (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327055)

Can anybody find sources other than the Indian Express reporting on this? If the article is accurate, my overall impression of Google will be substantially decreased, but I'd like to make sure the information is solid. Right now the only sources I can find are the Indian Express or other sources re-reporting it.

Re:Other sources? (1)

1000Monkeys (593520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327451)

Shh... This is slashdot. Rumors are true as long as they defame companies the mob no longer deems "cool."

The real Google corporate motto... (1)

heretic108 (454817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327073)

"Don't be evil...

...in the eyes of our customers, especially government customers"

Kinda reminds me of George Orwell's Animal Farm, where the revolutionary sheep are initially chanting "four legs good, two legs bad", but after the corruption has set in, and the head animals are enjoying human comforts, the chant changes to "four legs good, two legs better".

Im scared.. (1)

kraemate (1065878) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327119)

This move by Google has left me really worried. Orkut has become extremely popular in India, and politicians and the Government are not happy with it. The reason : people creating communities which they feel are 'anti-Indian', fake profiles, etc. Every day here i see stories about how a police complaint, or a law-suit is filed against such an orkut community. While the so-called 'illegal' communities are mostly pranks, the government acts real serious about them. I'll give you a small (and to me, truly horrifying) example : A few students in my sister's school opened up their school community, and started posting 'lies' about the school authorities (which in reality are the bitter truths). A police complaint was filed against those students and everything - and now if Google is so ready to comply with such people, then i guess it pretty much means game-over for free-speech on the internet in India.

PS: Hope that Google doesn't provide _my_ IP address. Or even /.

Re:Im scared.. (1)

the100rabh (947158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327429)

You forgot India has freedom of speech but not of lies. If can prove that then no probs at all. But u cant just blabber about some one. It happened to a friend of mine. She had turned down one her classmates and that fellow simply posted crap about her in orkut with here photo, fake mail id and aher cell number. Now what do u think should be done about these people

Things That Bit Butts (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327241)

List of nifty little phrases that have bitten their speakers in the ass:

  • They will never bomb Berlin
  • Read my lips, no new taxes
  • I did not have sex with that woman
  • Mission accomplished
  • Don't be evil

Do no evil (1)

satirenine (941898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327251)

Rule # 1 - Do no evil
Rule # 0 - Make money

Indian personalities (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327275)

They object, among others [CC], to posts against certain Indian personalities...

So much for those Bollywood jokes on Conan!

- RG>

Slashdotters Indian bias is disgusting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327427)

I see comments like 'India isn't a democracy' or they don't have freedom of speech. Why not look at the US government that records all of your phone calls and sensors its own scientists. Are the fat turds that read this site so pissed that someone overseas can do their job better and for less money that they hold it against a race? Pathetic.

Wonder who's next? (1)

DeadManCoding (961283) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327455)

Well, China has Google filtering search results. Now Orkut is giving IP info to Mumbai officials to ensure that "anti-Indian" speech is not propagated through the "tubes". What's next, the American government spying on their own citizens and abusing the law that was put in place to allow them to do it?

Wait a minute...

Censorship?! (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327589)

How the hell is this censorship? the police are asking Google amongst others to share information about people who may be linked to mafia organizations. They were already blocking these sites as they appeared you realy might want to do a bit more research before you start having knee jerk reactions every time Google does something involving an authority. PS Supporters of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawood_Ibrahim [wikipedia.org] Dawood_ Ibrahim are who they are interested in. Doesn't seem like a very nice guy PSS How fucking clean does Google have to be before you people will be happy? Really for god sakes get a hold of yourselves their a damn corporation they do have certain obligations to something other then the set of morales you seem to think they should have when you cant even maintain such a clean lifestyle.

Brazil vs India - FIGHT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327703)

You mean that the Brazilians let Indians use Orkut?

Not that bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18327859)

Its unfortunate.Its necessary.The dynamics of Indian society are vastly different from the US.There are a lot of uneducated gulliable people who are conned by politicos time and again.Its those politicos who fuel and foment communal and sectarian violence for their own selfish ends.For e.g , historically , Aurangzeb ( a muslim ruler) tormented Shivaji (his contemporary Hindu ruler). The politicos would associate anti Shivaji stuff to be anti Hindu , pro Muslim, and so, is potential riot fodder.And people here ,in general, are net illiterate, and believe every word in the "internet" is gospel truth ( their leader told them so). So , if there is an user on orkut with the nick "anti hindu bombay guy" who posts derogatory comments on Shivaji, the "leader" here will take a banner print of it, claim that muslims in bombay are insulting shivaji ( corollary ...insulting hindus), and will instigate a pogrom.We dont want that.
Jilted male lovers create bogus profiles of the females they have been spurned by, make it seem that the girl is a whore, and post their phone numbers and lewd remarks about them.Imagine the plight of the female who is woken up at odd hours with people wanting to have sex with her.
Who do you go to ? The police of course.How can the police help you ? By tracking down the michief monger. How do they do that ? Travel to US to file a motion in an US court and get a subpoena ? Its impractical.
There is no censorship involved here. Feel free to write what you wish. Freedom of any kind comes with responsibility.Speech and expression is no different ( try shouting fire in a packed dark auditorium ).The government has a duty to protect its citizens. There is an independent judiciary in India which can task an errant government to task, and there are many many examples to vouch for that.I live in this free country, and I support the move.

Iran (2, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#18327961)

So far Google has caved when secular governments have gone after people for civil disobedience.

I wonder what they'd do in an officially Muslim like Iran if someone posted a blog saying, "I was a Muslim but I converted to Christianity", and the government demanded that Google turn over that person's identifying information?

If Google refused, then they're giving up on the broad claim that their presence a blessing to a country regardless of what censorship / person-finding they assist with. If they went along with it, then they show the true vacuousness of their "moral" reasoning.

I don't want such a test case to arise, but I'd be (morbidly) curious to see how it plays out.

Criminal investigatoins should be allowed (4, Interesting)

Jimithing DMB (29796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328167)

After reviewing the articles I've come to the conclusion that while I don't condone investigating people for hate-speech against India that I see no problem with investigating the source of a mob boss fan club. Even applying the U.S. constitution (which of course India is not held to) I would see no problem with this. The police can and should investigate something like this. If it turns out it's someone not connected to the criminal then that's fine. But if it turns out that it's part of a conspiracy to drum up public support and poison the jury pool then that is an entirely different matter. Who's to say that this anonymously submitted article is not part of that conspiracy?

I believe Google did the right thing by turning over records to the police. Anonymity is not sacrosanct. Freedom to say what you want is, and if that is not allowed in India then that should be changed. However, impeding a criminal investigation is not a good way to bring about change.

I wish I could point out a specific attribution but it's not a new concept that one must work within ones societal rules to change society for the better. I believe it is mentioned at least a few times in the new testament and most likely in other religious and philosophical texts as well.

Rule#0: make money. (1)

liftphreaker (972707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328189)

What's so surprising about this move? Google like any other company aims to make money. Like I've been saying all along, this "don't be evil" mantra is an elaborate ploy to make them look like angels and ask no questions.

Remember how we supported microsoft against IBM a few decades ago when IBM was considered the oppressor and microsoft the liberator?

If it hurts their bottom line, they will toe the line. Google has a huge dev center in Bangalore, and many other cities in India. If they screw with the government, they are in for it. That's the bottom line. That's why they are bending over backwards and opening their thighs for the cops.

Their new mantra? (2, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#18328215)

Don't be evil (to white people living in western nations.)

-GiH
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