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At present, apart from ‘Press’, people use the internet to express their opinions and pass criticisms on the politicians and officials of almost in all countries including India.All Governments in the World request the Web-Search Engines, such as ‘Google’ for removal of contents published in them.
The Indian Courts, Indian Police Authorities and Government Officials have sent requests to the Web- Search Company-“Google” for removal of contents published in the internet, pertaining to defamation and National Security.
Google has fully or partially complied with 22% of the requests and declined the rest.
Such requests from the Government of India have been more in the year 2010, obviously, because the year 2010 has been a year of the biggest scandals in India, and comments and observations of the public should have been more in the internet.
Google has also received 1,699 “user data requests” from the government — euphemism for the police wanting a peek into the search and usage habits of targeted individuals — and complied with 79 per cent of these. However, no details were given.The number of user data removal requests from India increased by as much as 123 per cent.In India, under Articles 19, 20,21 &22, right to freedom is given to the people.The right to freedom under Article 19 guarantees right to Freedom of Speech and Expression. The freedom of speech and of the press in India does not confer an absolute right to express without any responsibility.
The Freedom of Press in India is not specifically given in the Indian Constitution.
Under Section 19(1), Freedom of Press is implied and under Section 19 (2), the Press is subject to some restrictions under the following Heads:-
- Security of the State,
- Friendly Relations with Foreign States,
- Public Order,
- Decency and Morality,
- Contempt of Court,
- Incitement to an offense and
- Sovereignty and integrity of India.
However, reasonable restrictions on the above grounds can be imposed only by a duly enacted law and not by executive action.