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Orkut In Pact With Indian Law Enforcement

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the watch-your-mouth dept.

Censorship 88

food4thought writes "The Economic Times reports that Orkut has signed a pact with Indian Cyber Crime Cell. They have now pledged to block any 'defamatory or inflammatory content', or hand over IP address information to police if asked.' Deputy Commissioner of Police (enforcement) Sanjay Mohite said the pact means they do not have to go through the lengthy process of asking the Central government to communicate with Orkut. The practice so far has been to first send a request to the Centre's computer emergency response team in New Delhi. This team processes the request through its channels and even if a forum is finally blocked, the "culprits" still remain untraceable as no IP addresses can be obtained ... "Now we can do away with the process and not just directly ban content but also obtain details of IP addresses and service providers quickly," Mohite said.' How long before we see these 'informal arrangements' elsewhere?"

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88 comments

Do more profit (4, Funny)

Tester (591) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941413)

Seems like Google's moto of "Do no evil" has been replaced with "Do more profit"

Re:Do more profit (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941613)

Well, that's what the bottom line is about now :(

OTOH, there a lot of sites that moderate their user-created content (if reported/moderated by other users) too. And AFAIK, there has to be some form of moderation in any site regarding "defamatory or inflammatory content." Any site that doesn't do so is just asking to be trolled, vandalized and mutilated till people take their content (forums, vids, pics, etc.) someplace else.

India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942427)

The Indian experience will not translate to other Western countries. Though India is a democracy, it is not a Western nation. India is, for example, rife with honor killings. Moreover, the Indians aggressively pursue the development of nuclear weapons.

Contrast the Indians to other peoples who are truly Westerners and who truly commit to Western values. Consider the Poles. They refuse to develop nuclear weapons and prefer to invest government funds in developing the infrastructure to spur economic growth. The Poles are also committed to civil rights and to protecting the rights of women and children.

The Indians, like the Chinese, enjoy suppressing human rights -- including the rights to privacy. By contrast, the Poles embrace human rights.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (4, Insightful)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942725)

Consider the Poles. They refuse to develop nuclear weapons and prefer to invest government funds in developing the infrastructure to spur economic growth
So the US, UK and France are not Western?

India has a strong and independent judiciary, democracy, human rights law (unlike Britain). It is more democratic and free than any other country at its economic level.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18947673)

Um, India's legal system has ground to a halt because of the enormous backlog of legal cases that their "strong and independent judiciary" cannot handle.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18948425)

Is this the same human rights aware India that wants to jail Richard Gere because he kissed an actress in public?

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18955489)

well, I would say, whatever warrant the Indian court has issued is alright. If u go to some place, u r supposed to maintain the custom and dignity of the place, which Mr.Rechard forgot...and that is why, the court issued arrest warrant against him on the ground that he has broken the local custom. That's alright. India is not as open as west...in west, u can take a girl to a corner and start fucking her without worrying much...but that's not the case in India, or most of the Asian countries....and when u come to such countries, u should behave accordingly...otherwise, u will have to face consequences...thats quite expected.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18943439)

Yes.. Western values including invading random countries, having the largest nuclear stock pile in the world?

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (3, Interesting)

beckerist (985855) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943465)

The Indians, like the Chinese, enjoy suppressing human rights -- including the rights to privacy. By contrast, the Poles embrace human rights.

...just a thought, but how do you propose to control a combined 2.4 BILLION [geohive.com] people? Considering the sheer amount of HUMAN'S, I find it implausible to expect that EVERY ONE of them can be fully represented. This isn't to say that they don't DESERVE rights, just that with THAT many people, you have to balance security and freedoms VERY carefully, generally tipping towards the former.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (1)

asninn (1071320) | more than 6 years ago | (#18954609)

That's rubbish. I could just as well ask "How do you propose to control 500 million people [in the EU], 300 million people [in the USA], 180 million people [in Brazil], 80 million people [in Germany], 60 million people [in the UK], 33 million people [in Canada], 16 million people [in the Netherlands], 7.5 million people [in Switzerland], 4 million people [in New Zealand], or even 310,000 people [in Iceland]"?

Seriously, it's not clear to me why it would be impossible to have a functioning democracy where everyone is fairly represented or ensure liberty *and* safety for 1,100,000,000 people when it's not considered impossible to do the same for 300,000,000 people - the factor's actually quite small when you think about it.

I don't know anything about India really, so I can't say much about their human rights record, how free Indians are and so on, but I don't think you should go around making excuses that one can't possibly have freedom or a democracy just because there's more than a billion people. That's FUD.

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 6 years ago | (#18967161)

you have to balance security and freedoms VERY carefully, generally tipping towards the former

I for one will not cower in fear and willingly trade away freedom. I will not willingly bow down even before terrorists. The discussion of trading away freedom bad enough, but your DEFAULT EXPECTATION to tip against freedom, to first and foremost choose to give up freedom, that is appalling. You want to trade away your freedom, oh well. And I'm sure you're thinking in terms of willingly trading away your freedoms. But it really isn't about giving up your own freedoms. It is about you presuming to take away OTHER people's freedoms, and doing so by force.

I don't know about you, but I am an American and proud to be an American and I have the deepest respect for the men who founded this country and I am proud and have the deepest respect for the principles on which my country was founded, and for the people who have laid down their lives over the years to defend those principles and freedom. There will always be criminals and hazards. That is a simple fact of life. You can either eternally trade away freedom with each daily fear, or you can accept that fact of life and firmly establish rights and a freedom society and only then best pursue policing and security as best you can within the dictates and limitations of those rights and freedom.

I realize I am going on a bit of a random rant here, and that I am ranting about a single sentence of yours, and that the Slashdot story and the particular India situation is about the furthest thing from my mind right now, but you hit a sore spot for me. I am disgusted horrified at how many of my fellow Americans are so quick, even dedicated, to trade away rights and freedoms and principles and Constitution. The rightwingnuts in this country.... don't get me wrong there are some pretty kooky ideas on the radical left... but the rightwingnuts in this country so often seem do damn dead set on giving up their rights and freedoms and forcibly taking away everyone's else's rights and freedoms and tearing down the principles that make this country right and good. I am absolutely speechless at the rightwingnuts that have actually spoken up in support of torture. The irony of the rightwingnuts who so loudly identify with the military and patriotism and and bravery... cowering in fear at the word terrorist or any other threat... cowering in fear and so desperate to trade away rights and freedom and the constitution and morality. A terrorist like bin Laden can kill some people... and that is a fact that can *never* be eliminated... but he is absolutely incapable of destroying this great nation. Only *we* can destroy this nation. We can destroy this nation by cowering in fear, we can destroy the nation by giving away our rights and freedom and constitution and our principles and the moral highground and everything that makes the country good and worth protecting.

Terrorists are a problem, terrorists need to be dealt with, we went into Afghanistan and kicked ass for supporting and protecting bin Laden, but terrorists are not a threat. Not a real threat to the me or to the country. I will not cower and willingly give away rights and freedoms and the very soul of what makes my country good and valuable. I will not do it in the name of law enforcement against the routine threat of common criminals, and I will not do it not in the name of terrorists. People who think we should "generally tip" in the direction of eliminating freedom in the name of security... as you said in your post... that attitude is a threat that truly frightens me.

End Of Random Rant.

-

Re:India is Unique: India is not a Western nation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18943667)

Yeah Poles embrace human rights as well as the Roman Catholic church, which organized witch hunting, burnt Giordano Bruno, and are still against divorce and gay rights.

Bad reporting again. (1)

longobord (627823) | more than 6 years ago | (#18951137)

Isn't this the second time in the last 3 months that Indian police have announced increased powers of censorship over Orkut? One of these days reporters in India will get the clue and actually try to understand what it is they're reporting on. I believe last time this came about, Google pointed to their handy tool. I have got to imagine it's difficult to figure out what's actually going on in India, with such careless journalism.

Shoop da whoop (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941431)

imma chargin mah lazor

Google is evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941447)

As size approaches Microsoft, alignment approaches Evil.

Orkut? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941449)

Can someone summarize for us non-Indians wtf Orkut is?

Thanks.

Re:Orkut? (2, Informative)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941475)

Wow, you're incredably lazy, it says in the SECOND SENTANCE of the article. Its a google-run community site.

Re:Orkut? (0, Troll)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941501)

So, it's a Hindu Myspace. Wow, that must be exciting.

Re:Orkut? (1)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942341)

...is this some sort of feeble attempt at humour?

Re:Orkut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18943623)

orrrrKUTTTTT!! dirka dirka! durka durka lurka dirka? dirka dirka!!!

Re:Orkut? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941957)

shut up, dumb faggot face penis muncher. we all know your cornhole is a two way orific.

Re:Orkut? (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942529)

If the original submitter had included three words, "online blogging site," the word Orkut might have been a bit less mysterious to anyone who hasn't heard of it before.

Re:Orkut? (1)

vfwlkr (668341) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944101)

You mean he should have read TFA ?

Re:Orkut? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#18948617)

> You mean he should have read TFA ?

The write-up should describe it in summary form so there's incentive to read TFA. What is Orkut, and why should anyone care about pacts between it and Indian law enforcement? It's a perfectly reasonable question.

Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18945053)

Can someone summarize for us non-Indians wtf Google is?

Thanks.

Re:Orkut? (0, Flamebait)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941517)

Simple: it's an online place for retarded teenagers to create hard-to-read webpages and socialize, and for pedophiles and perverts to stalk onto. Same as Myspace...

Re:Orkut? (2, Informative)

sarathmenon (751376) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943217)

create hard-to-read webpages


Leave this part and you've hit it. One of the things why I visit orkut once a month and myspace never is that orkut looks more professionals and easier to use. Its actually a good way to meet up with your friends in case they are all there.

Re:Orkut? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941721)

Orkut is a social networking site like myspace that has been completely overrun by Brazilians. It's impossible to use it without swimming through a sea of Portuguese any more.

Re:Orkut? (2, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941919)

So, this is effectively a non-story then. Unless there's been a sudden surge in Brazilian immigrants to India, that is.

Re:Orkut? (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942431)

"Mom! People are saying bad things about Google! Mom!"

"I'm sorry, I can't stop them. That would be cen-sor-ship. All we can do is whitewash this as a "non-story" and completely ignore the fact that Google is willing to censor more and more things in the name of the almighty dollar."

Re:Orkut? (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942843)

I couldn't care less. I use Google as a search engine, and that's the extent of it. If I was using a MySpace clone that decided to censor opinions, I'd use a different site.

People really need to stop complaining for the sake of complaining when shit like this happens. Don't like it? Stop using said site. Reduce their ad dollars, and only then will they change their stance. Also, keep in mind that a large majority of these "community based" sites' users tend to be either kids or morons, neither or which tend to be that concerned or knowledgeable about privacy rights or censorship. So in the end, it's nice that we can all bitch and moan, but will it do anything? Doubtful.

Re:Orkut? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943065)

So, this is effectively a non-story then. Unless there's been a sudden surge in Brazilian immigrants to India, that is.

Yes, it's a non-story. Any infrastructure that has been set up by the Indian government for political suppression on the Internet is now rendered useless. Nothing like Orkut will ever appear in India again- that is the only social networking site that will ever be available to a billion people or whatever it is down there. In fact all social networking sites around the world will quickly be overrun by Brazilians who try to help out by flooding the sites with Brazilian IP addresses and Portugese. If we can keep the Brazilians busy enough, we might be able to stamp out oppression on social networking sites all over the world. Your free speech can't be suppressed if you don't speak Portugese, can it? Didn't think so.

(Naturalmente, eu devo emphatically indicar que Brasil próprio é como uma cidade brilhando em um monte, com um governo enlightened que seja o envy dos povos em nações oppressed pelo mundo inteiro.)

Re:Orkut? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942121)

True. But it's nice how orkut interoperate with youtube, gmail and google talk. And you can always ban everyone who doesn't speak english from your comunnities.

Re:Orkut? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941731)

jeez, read the article. Orkut is a boy band started by Sanjay from American Idol.

Wait, What?? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941635)

This has very little to do with the article, but the L.A. Times recently published an article regarding the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit [torontopolice.on.ca] [torontopolice.on.ca] that focused on their fight against child pornography ("Sifting Clues to an Unsmiling Girl" [pqarchiver.com] [pqarchiver.com]). They are the law enforcement organization that photoshopped the victims out of child porn photos in order to get the public's assistance in identifying the backgrounds (it worked). In any case, the article had this amazing claim:

On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.

Wow. All but one in four years. Seemed rather unlikely to me.

So, I called the Child Exploitation Section of the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit and spoke to Det. Ian Lamond, who was familiar with the Times article. He claims they were misquoted, or if that figure was given it was done so jokingly. Of course, even if the figure was given jokingly, shouldn't the Times reporter have clarified something that seems rather odd? Shouldn't her editors have questioned her sources?

Nevertheless, Det. Lamond does confirm that a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest." They've arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees' "paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs."

Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it."

I asked Det. Lamond if this wasn't simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek-specific.

C'mon people ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941641)

Is helping authorities identify hate speech censorship?

"hate speech" is a matter of definition (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 6 years ago | (#18950873)

"I think [insert politician name here] is unfit for public office" might be considered "hate speech" by the politician... and now can be reported as such to the provider.

A tool that makes it easier for politicians to harass people who don't like them is a censorship tool.

Won't stop the real hackers, just the dumb ACs (2, Interesting)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941817)

On reading TFA, sounds a bit flaky...

"The pact, which is actually an "informal arrangement" called the Priority Reporting Tool, comes as a big surprise to internet users as Orkut has succes, just thsfully blocked attempts by various countries to control content."

"Now we can do away with the [old, slow, but govt. controlled] process and not just directly ban content but also obtain details of IP addresses and service providers quickly...the IP addresses will enable the [police] cell to track down people who have posted messages and book them if the need arises, police officials said."

No mention of legal oversight etc.

Mind you, perhaps we'll all gotten too blasé about the supposed freedom & anonymity of the 'net. After all, if you defame someone in traditional print, you can be sued in most places if it's not fair or truthful. Still, as I said, the smart badboys aren't going to be worried about this...plenty of internet cafés and open (or openable) hotspots around..

To the uninitiated (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18941831)

Orkut is like Myspace for Indians (and Brazilians, Pakistanis). Every one of my Indian friends (I am Indian too) is a registered user on orkut. I guess that says a lot about this article's impact.

I'm an Indian..... (5, Insightful)

aneeshm (862723) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941943)

...and I'm fucking pissed.

This is the worst sort of intimidation. Bal Thackeray is a politician. If content against him can be censored, we've reached the limit. The government already blocks websites it deems "hateful". Unfortunately, the definition of hateful includes anyone who dares to criticise the communists, or Islam. The current government stays in power because of the support provided by the communist parties, so they can get ridiculous things like this passed.

Simply put, this is the first step in an exercise which promises to put an end to freedom of information on the internet in India as we know it. There was an incident where, some time back, the whole of blogspot was blocked. The government doesn't run a firewall a la China, they just ask ISPs to do it. Because there exists no independent ISP (all private players have to lease bandwidth themselves from the government - it's a state monopoly), they have no choice but to comply.

I am so completely pissed.

Re:I'm an Indian..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942533)

Welcome to the modern world, a 100% corrupt one. [Sadly I'm out of mod points.]

One day, once Man finally gains a small amount of insight, politicians will be seen to be the single most dangerous criminals on the planet, and they will then be slaughtered en mass without trial or recourse to defence. The definition of "politician" in this context is "anyone seeking to impose their will upon others".

The rest of humanity will then be free to advance into the future, cooperatively.

Meanwhile we have Bal Thackeray, and Bush, and other scum.

Re:I'm an Indian [If I had a vote] (1)

johnny0099 (1068928) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943145)

I would give you a point for restating the importantly obvious. Have a great day. +1

Re:I'm an Indian..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942563)

Notice the funny thing that hateful speech and heavy-handed criticism against a combined political movement, ideology and way-of-life system that rejects all limits to discussion in non-publicly apparent forums would never be blocked. In fact, the exact same words used against such a movement would be considered academic discussion and debate. Something I have observed through life.

Case in point, consider this discussion:

Person A: 'X' is probably the most important thing that humanity has come up with.
Person B: To the contrary, 'X' is a steaming pile of crap and we should do what we can to get rid of it.

The statement of B is defined as deserving of criminal punishment for values of X that include women, communists/socialists, Islam, Judaism, people from Lebanon or any of a certain range of countries, animal rights groups, American Indian culture, Wicca/Paganism, homosexuality and the United Nations. B is defined as not deserving of criminal punishment for values of X that include men, capitalists/libertarians, Christianity, Catholocism, Scientology, Freemasonry, Western culture and specialised labour. Criminal punishment is defined as direct personal discomfort caused to you by other people, formally or informally, that does not give rise to a right to retribution on your part.

For example, making a hateful statement about libertarianism does not give rise to other people's rights to throw eggs at you without them being prosecuted and punished. Making a hateful statement about animal rights activists on the other hand does give rise to other people's rights to throw eggs at you without being prosecuted and punished.

Conclusion: It is never the words you use that matter, it is always and everywhere rather which subject you are speaking them about. Certain groups, thoughts, movements are on the 'protected list'.

The defenders (those who prefer to protected list the way it is, and the enemy list likewise) will try to justify this by use of categorical imperatives that they supposedly apply to everyone in order to leverage the argument rhetorically (e.g. 'we are attacking all unnuanced statements attacking groups of people') but will always highly flexibly adjust the imperative whenever you present examples in which it does not lead to the results they intended.

Re:I'm an Indian..... (1)

dodobh (65811) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944215)

What made you think there was EVER any freedom of speech? I suggest you read the terms of the ISP license first. I work in that field, and I know precisely how bad the situation is.

You do know that there are conflicting laws abuot encryption in India? All strong encryption is illegal under one law, and mandatory under another, so whatever happens, you ARE a criminal.

Damn those inalienable rights... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#18941995)

<sarcasm>
How are we suppose to protect civilians with those pescky civil rights getting in our way? It will be so much easier to protect people when we lock them up in jail.
</sarcasm>

-Rick

Orkut? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942183)

Sincere question: does anyone (or anyone outside Brazil) still use Orkut? I haven't heard it mentioned outside of legal issues for a couple of years. I'd go look myself, but for some reason Orkut and MySpace are the two sites we have blocked at work.

Re:Orkut? (1)

debiansid (881350) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945535)

Sincere question: does anyone (or anyone outside Brazil) still use Orkut?

Yes, it's quite a rage here in India and the subcontinent. You could consider it an equivalent of MySpace out here; every teenager (and 20 somethings) with access to the internet has at least one profile on it.

And it's a decent networking site; I regained contact with many of my school friends there.

What if this were in china? (1)

sup2100 (996095) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942227)

What would your reaction be if google started handing over IP addresses in China? Remind you a certain reporter and Yahoo?

Re:What if this were in china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942579)

Oh, come on... when it comes to your rights online the US is not much better than China or India.

Why, twice already this week my door has been busted in by jack-booted government thugs, simply because I had the wherewithal to criticize the Chimpy McBushitler Gang in posts here on slashdot!

It's really getting to be quite a nuisance. And I'm not just talking about the expense of fitting new locks. Both times they also trod quite a lot of mud into the carpets, you know, with their jack-boots and all that. And I'd just had them cleaned properly too.

Re:What if this were in china? (1)

carlivar (119811) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945479)

But everyone here loves Google. If this were Yahoo there would be 400 comments, 90% negative. Slashdotters ignore their beloved Google doing evil.

No judicial oversight either way. (1)

Palmyst (1065142) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942321)

Reading the details in the story. even the earlier "process" had no judicial oversight and was run by the federal cops. The only difference now is that the info can be requested directly by the state cops instead of going through the center, and it is thus faster.

Orkut != everyone (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942475)

A private company can choose to disclose information to the government if it wishes. Our two concerns is that a) the law contains safeguards against police abuse and b) the government is not prosecuting people for innocuous activities. Other than that, does India block access to offshore sites of similar nature? If not, set up your community in a country with decent laws.

Sounds like old (overblown) news to me! (2, Informative)

superstarksa (922203) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942551)

The funny thing is that there was another article that was on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a few months ago. It was titled "Google Aids Indian Goverment [sic] Censorship". Now in response, a Google spokesperson had said (quote via Boing Boing [boingboing.net] )

The reporting tool that was offered to authorities acts as a hotline to Google Inc., allowing the authorities to communicate requests for removal of content to us. The reporting tool does not give the police any privilege other than a speedier vehicle to notify Google Inc. about flagged users or communities. Authorities have no access to user data and can not remove content themselves by using this tool. The tool is not used to provide authorities with user information such as IP addresses. Google investigates reports received by the authorities via the reporting tool to determine whether a user or community has in fact violated orkut's terms of use. Authorities may use the reporting tool to ask Google to preserve user identifying information for a certain period of time (in anticipation of serving formal legal process for such information), and we will preserve the information accordingly. But no user data is turned over to the authorities absent valid legal process.
So what we seem to have now is another article that basically says the same thing as the first Slashdotted article [expressindia.com] . And from the Google statement, it appears that the "Priority Reporting Tool" is nothing but a glorified version of the "report abuse" link that every user gets on Orkut. Or did something change at Google in these past few weeks? Is this a new interpretation of the "valid legal process" that the Google spokesperson mentioned in her statement above?

(P.S: For all those of you who are wondering, Orkut [orkut.com] is a (Google promoted) Friendster like social networking site that is very popular in the Indian subcontinent and in Brazil too. Recent surveys indicate that Orkut ranks 9th in terms of membership size, behind Myspace et. al.)

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18945677)

It's one of those rare informative posts :)

Get a Life! (1)

void_bips(brain) (929252) | more than 6 years ago | (#18942555)

I was on Orkut... for less than 45 days. Deleted my account.
I personally feel that these *social networks* are nothing more than a waste of time.
My friends cite it as a useful resource to keep in touch with old friends... Comm'on. Isn't a mail enough if you *really really* want to be in touch? Communities (though not all) are crap too. The only thing worth on Orkut is the B'day ticker ;) But then it's a trade-off that you need to calculate.
I'd like to know how many people belong to my category (or I belong to their category);
and how many feel that these Orkuts/MySpaces really help them keep in touch with old friends? Or are even worth their time?

Re:Get a Life! (1)

panchi2131 (1015619) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943487)

orkut is not good for maintaining contact with old friends .......
well for those who dont like it ,it is the way ,but for some it has been gr8 help in finding old friends .as for using other means it is not primarily used for remaining in contact with frnds u have now ,but same way as batchmates and classmates with some additional easier interface to interact with them

Re:Get a Life! (1)

void_bips(brain) (929252) | more than 6 years ago | (#18943715)

easier interface to interact with them
Agreed completely. I cannot and will not deny the fact that those scraps are pretty easy and straightforward ways. (Though a "reply" button in your mail interface is quite similar :) )
But what about the trade-off?
Not all, but *most of* the people spend there time moving from one profile to another to another.. looking at the albums, reading their testimonials. That's why the title goes "Get a Life".

It's really funny. I used to meet some people in the day time and get the "LONG-TIME-SCRAPS" complaints in the evening from them.
Now, how do we explain this?

Re:Get a Life! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#18944065)

My friends cite it as a useful resource to keep in touch with old friends... Comm'on. Isn't a mail enough if you *really really* want to be in touch?

Several of my friends from school have found me through my myspace page, which I have only because people look there to find people and facebook is a spammer.

Re:Get a Life! (1)

Shadowfoxmi (989969) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945247)

facebook is a spammer.
WTF? Facebook networks are so well organized compared to that of myspace. IMO, MySpace is for pussies who would love to color up their page with glitter..

marie (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18942965)

surveyS show that '*BSD Sux0rs'. This hobbyist dileetante

How come no mention of 1984 or Stalin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18943365)

If anything similar happens in China there'd be a big wave of self-righteous outcry from the moral high ground, refreshing us again and again of George Orwell's 1984, reminding us how evil Stalin and Mao had been, and blah blah.

Where are all the blahs? I don't hear any.

gn4a (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18945045)

GNAA and suupo8t

Warning concerning Orkut login (1)

hlh_nospam (178327) | more than 6 years ago | (#18945681)

When I tried to access my Orkut account on the morning of April 16th, I got an "Unable to Connect" message. I just assumed that they were having some temporary problems. When I couldn't login on Tuesday, I thought maybe the company had tightened down the firewall, so I tried later that evening from home with the same result. So I did a Google search to see if anything had been reported, and found a Wikipedia entry. Other than that, it seems very few people noticed this security problem.

From Wikipedia: "On and around April 17, 2007 secure (https) access to the orkut login server was no longer available. This may lead to compromise of orkut accounts and by extension google accounts as well as gmail accounts since the password for login is transmitted via cleartext."

Sure enough, the http login comes up (I had been using a shortcut to the secure login site). Note that the password used by Orkut is tied to your gmail account, so sending your login password via plaintext may compromise your other Google accounts. If you use Orkut, and you have signed in since April 16th, you should immediately change your gmail password, and avoid Orkut until they fix the secure login.

Re:Warning concerning Orkut login (1)

lintux (125434) | more than 6 years ago | (#18951441)

Oops, that's not very nice. What if you log into your GMail account, shouldn't Orkut automatically recognize you too then?

Google helping illiberal forces in India (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946719)

It's hard to believe some people are dismissing this so lightly. Did anyone read the article? (That's a setup for "Are you new here?".)

The article says they now have a mechanism for getting the IP addresses of any posters the police have a whim to harass with no legal process required whatsoever. What's even more egregious is what trips this: "...defamatory content about Dr B R Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shivaji and Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray. "

These are (in order) an advocate for lower castes, a historical figure, and prominent Hindu-right politician. What nobody in this thread can explain is why should people be able to say whatever they'd like for or against these people or anyone else?

The fact is that there are liberals in every society (talking not about the policies of the US Democratic party or the UK Labour party, but about free and open political arrangements), and Google's total submission (where's the evillll tag on this, by the way?) just gives help to the wrong side.

If somebody had posted nuclear launch codes, or whatever, this might be OK, but for normal political flames? For shame, Google.

yu0 fail it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18946751)

tro0ble. I4t

EVIL (1)

samantha (68231) | more than 6 years ago | (#18947797)

This is evil. It is a great chill on freedom of expression. Not only is some nation able to censor citizens worldwide through Google's help but ISPs and possibly individuals all over the world are open to hassle and further chilling of freedom. Google, STOP THE EVIL now!

Google = "sort of pretend to do no evil" (1)

liftphreaker (972707) | more than 6 years ago | (#18950841)

Buhwahahahahaha!

People, you seem to forget google is yet another huge corporate behemoth whose main aim is to make money and make shareholders happy. If that means oppressing people and aiding repressive regimes, that's what they will do.

Don't forget, google has huge development centers in India and they need the presence there. They can't afford to p*ss off the Indian govt. If that means handing over your IP address, SSN, name, password, DoB, and medical history to the govt, they would do it.

Old News and more (1)

makash (809397) | more than 6 years ago | (#18959523)

First of all this is old news. First discussed around mid march of 2007. The only thing that Google is doing different is that it has given Mumbai Police some priority helpline. Someone from http://www.contentsutra.com/ [contentsutra.com] was able to the response of a Google rep. who said the following

Response from a Google spokesperson by email, quoted verbatim: Google Legal team met with the police from various states and offered a special priority reporting tool that will enable them to have a direct line of contact with Google. The feedback has been very positive. Google has very high standards for user privacy and a clear privacy policy. When dealing with requests from authorities, we are very careful to balance the interests of our users while still being as cooperative in the investigation and prosecution of crimes as possible. What is important to note is that this new reporting tool does not affect the way we treat users' data - it only enables a faster, direct communication. Authorities will still be required to follow an appropriate legal process in order to get user-identifying information.
You can read the full post here http://www.contentsutra.com/entry/419-updated-orku t-to-share-offender-data-with-mumbai-police-google s-clarifi/ [contentsutra.com]

To give you an idea of Indian Censorship .... (1)

Kloro (1024321) | more than 6 years ago | (#18963661)

The country recently went nuts because Richard Gere kissed a woman on the cheek (face cheek, mind you) going so far as to issue an arrest warrant for the actor:

http://www.nwfdailynews.com/article/3522 [nwfdailynews.com]

Re:To give you an idea of Indian Censorship .... (1)

the100rabh (947158) | more than 6 years ago | (#19079677)

Guess you can see what happened to the judge who tried to act over critical. Guess u can google that out
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