Free Speech is one of the foremost liberties that the internet age brought along. But, over the years as the base of internet usage began increasing and widening across continents, one thing became clear that a lot of sifting was required from the whole bulk of services that were now accessible.

How free?

How free?

The Information Technology Rules, 2011, also called the Electronic Service Delivery was implemented last month. According to the rule, content on the web that threatens to defame, is obscene, blasphemous, and scandalous is eligible for immediate removal. The whole ruling is now being viewed under a scanner across all sections of its users. As vague it gets, the ruling practically seeps into every aspect of day-to-day life. In a democracy like ours having such steep censorship lines do call in for a debate.

On a whole, the list provisions for anything and everything that is – threatening to the unity, integrity, defense, security or sovereignty of India, friendly relations with foreign states or public order. Now, the Center for Internet and Society possesses a list of 11 banned websites that have been passed on it by the Department of Information and Technology. These rules will now have a bearing on the way social networking, internet cafes, and other internet usage norms in the country.

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