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Why Section 69A of the IT Act should have been changed by the Supreme Court

My first reaction as I stepped out of court number 3 after the Supreme Court of India pronounced its historic judgment on freedom of speech online yesterday, was one of disappointment. As much as there was joy that there won't be arbitrary and unconstitutional arrests for offending and annoying speech online, the judges believe that there need to be special laws for the Internet. Secret blocking remains via Section 69, and I'm not convinced that the way they have written down Section 79 and its rules is the right approach. First, on Section 69: The Supreme Court believes that there are sufficient checks and balances built into Section 69A of the IT Act. Here's how the Section 69A process works: The central government has to have a designated officer "not below the rank of a Joint Secretary" for the purpose…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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