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SC orders Google, Yahoo & Microsoft to stop sex determination test ads; To examine blocking URLs

Search engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (Bing) have been directed (pdf) by the Supreme Court of India to not show any pre-natal sex determination test ads in their search results. In an interim order, the court said that these search engines should not advertise or sponsor any advertisements that would violate Section 22 of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT Act) (Hat tip - Amlan Mohanty) It also directed Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to withdraw any existing sex determination ads on their respective services and also include this order on their policy page as well as its service terms and conditions page. The next hearing is scheduled on February 11, 2015, when the court intends to take up the matters of completely blocking items that have been suggested by the Indian government and the URL & IP address are provided by Google, Yahoo or Microsoft. In the order, Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar said the Indian government can stop showing any kind of thing that relates to sex selection and eventual abortion, if the URL and the IP addresses are given along with other information by these three companies. Alternatively, these companies themselves can block these ads since they have access “to their respective mathematical algorithms all the time”. The court had earlier sought the assistance of Kumar and from the department of information and technology (DeitY) last month after reprimanding the Indian government for its helplessness in restraining online ads regarding pre-natal tests on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.…

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