By Charlotte Young
India has put its country on Internet lockdown. The Indian Department of Information Technology has issued new regulations that attempt to restrict web content they view as “harassing, hateful” or “blasphemous,” reports The New York Times.
The restrictions have caused an uproar among free speech advocates and Internet users who say the regulations “could severely curtail debate and discussion on the Internet.”
Additionally, the law also demands that sites such as YouTube and Facebook remove any offensive content within 36 hours of a request from the Indian government without allowing the Internet user responsible for the content a chance to respond.
“What are we, Saudi Arabia?” asked Pushkar Raj, the general secretary for the People’s Union for Civil Liberties in India. “We don’t expect this from India. This is something very serious.”
Although fewer than 10 percent of Indians even have access to the Internet, mobile devices are quickly increasing the numbers. More than 700 million cell phone accounts have been created in India.
The country has also largely benefited financially from the technology increase due to its role in software and Web services creation.