The Indian government has given the go ahead for prosecution of 21 social networks, charging them with "promoting enmity between classes and causing prejudice to national integration."
This is just one day after the Delhi high court issued a warning to those same networks, including Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, that they needed to take measures to remove content that was considered objectionable. It seems it wasn't kidding either.
"The sanctioning authority has personally gone through the entire records and materials produced before him and after considering and examining the same, he is satisfied that there is sufficient material to proceed against the accused persons under section 153-A, 153-B and 295-A of the IPC," reads a report discussing the action.
The court date is now set for 13th of March, where owners of the social networks are directed to appear in person. Something tells me that's not going to happen.
Essentially the Indian government is holding the social networks responsible for what's posted by its users. It believes that sites like Facebook should either filter or remove content that could be considered insulting to individuals, religion or the government itself.
The local representatives of Google, Facebook and other network owners have attempted to delay action by requesting that the summons be issued to the correct people. That would mean sending the summons to the US and other countries, which if agreed upon would give the sites some breathing time in which to respond.
India Times has many comments from locals, who are far from behind the government on this issue. Most of them claim that the future is inevitable, that the politicians will just have to put up with it. As one succinctly puts it, "Asking to censor trillions of new content being posted everyday by billions of people around the world is plain insane."