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Govt meets social media companies, says no plans to censor internet

Govt meets social media companies, says no plans to censor internet

Amid controversy over screening of content in the cyber world, the government on Thursday held a dialogue with Google, Facebook and Twitter seeking their views on effective usage of their platforms but asserted that there was no question of censorship of Internet.

Amid controversy over screening of content in the cyber world, thegovernment on Thursday held a dialogue with Google, Facebook and Twitterseeking their views on effective usage of their platforms but asserted thatthere was no question of censorship of Internet.

The government has called for an open dialogue with thesocial media companies, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, and variousgovernment departments, including the Ministry of External Affairs and theDepartment of Information and Technology, and sought opinions on how socialmedia and e-governance can empower individuals and citizens, Telecom MinisterKapil Sibal said after the meeting.

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Asked whether there was any plan to formulate a mechanism toregulate Internet content, Sachin Pilot, Minister of State for Communicationand IT, said, "There is no question of censorship of Internet.

"Whatever law has to me made is already in place. TheGovernment of India is committed to abiding by what is there according to theConstitution of India which is freedom of speech and expression. We protectthat with a lot of energy," he said.

Sibal said this discussion and this dialogue is about howthe social media can empower the government, because under the normal processesof the government, there is always a limited dialogue with representatives ofsociety as the means are limited.

In September this year, in an endeavour to increase thetrust of citizens in the online environment and to enable the variousgovernment agencies to choose appropriate authentication mechanism, theDepartment of Information Technology had conceptualised the e-Pramaan frameworkfor authentication of public services.