10 March 2011

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Google will be responsible directly for blog articles, content of blogspot bloggers No Freedom of Speech – Due Diligence clause IT act 2008

Google will be responsible directly for blog articles,
content of blogspot blog authors.
No Freedom of Speech – Due Diligence clause IT act 2008
Do you think Blogger is equal to telecom companies? As per proposed amendment blogger is like owner of telecom company

Indian Government has proposed the changes in Information Technology act 2008.

The draft rules, drawn up by the government under the Information Technology Amendment Act, 2008, deal with due diligence to be observed by an intermediary.

Who is intermediary?

Under the Act, an 'intermediary' is defined as any entity which on behalf of another receives, stores or transmits any electronic record.
Hence, telecom networks, web-hosting and internet service providers, search engines, online payment and auction sites as well as cyber cafes are identified as intermediaries.

Now the draft has included blogger in this category of intermediaries

Section 3 - what intermediaries is supposed to do?
What are the duties of intermediaries, that what the duties of blogger are.

Due Diligence observed by intermediary.—

The intermediary shall observe following due diligence while discharging its duties.-

The intermediary shall publish the terms and conditions of use of its
website, user agreement, privacy policy etc..

The intermediary shall notify users of computer resource not to use,
display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update, share or store any
information that : —

(a) belongs to another person;

(b) is harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, blasphemous,
objectionable, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, pornographic,
pedophilic, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or
racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable, disparaging, relating or
encouraging money laundering or gambling, or otherwise unlawful in
any manner whatever;

(c) harm minors in any way;

(d) infringes any patent, trademark, copyright or other proprietary rights;

(e) violates any law for the time being in force;

(f) discloses sensitive personal information of other person or to which the
user does not have any right to;

(g) causes annoyance or inconvenience or deceives or misleads the
addressee about the origin of such messages or communicates any
information which is grossly offensive or menacing in nature;

(h) impersonate another person;

(i) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or
programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any
computer resource;

(j) threatens the unity, integrity, defense, security or sovereignty of India,
friendly relations with foreign states, or or public order or causes
incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence or prevents
investigation of any offence or is insulting any other nation.

The intermediary shall not itself host or publish or edit or store any
information or shall not initiate the transmission, select the receiver of
transmission, and select or modify the information contained in the
transmission as specified in sub-rule (2).

The intermediary upon obtaining actual knowledge by itself or been brought
to actual knowledge by an authority mandated under the law for the time being
in force in writing or through email signed with electronic signature about any
such information as mentioned in sub-rule (2) above, shall act expeditiously to
work with user or owner of such information to remove access to such
information that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing
activity. Further the intermediary shall inform the police about such information
and preserve the records for 90 days.

The Intermediary shall inform its users that in case of non-compliance with
terms of use of the services and privacy policy provided by the Intermediary,
the Intermediary has the right to immediately terminate the access rights of the
users to the site of Intermediary.

The intermediary shall follow provisions of the Act or any other laws for the
time being in force.

The intermediary shall not disclose sensitive personal information.

Disclosure of information by intermediary to any third party shall require
prior permission or consent from the provider of such information, who has
provided such information under lawful contract or otherwise.

Intermediary shall provide information to government agencies who are
lawfully authorized for investigative, protective, cyber security or intelligence
activity. The information shall be provided for the purpose of verification of
identity, or for prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution, cyber security
incidents and punishment of offences under any law for the time being in force,
on a written request stating clearly the purpose of seeking such information.

The information collected by the intermediary shall be used for the
purpose for which it has been collected.

The intermediary shall take all measures to secure its computer resource
and integrity of information received, stored, transmitted or hosted shall be

The intermediary shall report cyber security incidents and also share cyber
security incidents related information with the Indian Computer Emergency
Response Team.

The intermediary shall not deploy or install or modify the technological
measures or become party to any such act which may change or has the
potential to change the normal course of operation of the computer resource
than what it is supposed to perform thereby circumventing any law for the time
being in force.

Provided that the intermediary may develop, produce, distribute or
employ technological means for the sole purpose of performing the acts of
securing the computer resource.

The intermediary shall publish on its website the designated agent to
receive notification of claimed infringements.

How the blog is defined?

Section 2 B –
“Blog” means a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with
regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such
as graphics or video. Usually blog is a shared on-line journal where users
can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies;

What is the definition of Blogger?

How the blogger is defined by information technology act.

Section 2 C defines blogger as follows.

Blogger” means a person who keeps and updates a blog

If these rules become part of Information technology act 2008, then every blogger who does not have support of big corporations have to stop his blogging activity.

After this it will become very easy to harass any blogger.

We bloggers will become the responsible for the comments which we receive on our blog.

So blogger will be held responsible for the comment on his blog given by unknown person.
any comment or a reader-posted link on a blog which according to the government is threatening, abusive, objectionable, defamatory, vulgar, racial, among other omnibus categories, will now be considered as the legal responsibility of the blogger

Now what will happen please understand?

Every blogger is intermediary.
Google blogspot provides platform so it is intermediary.

I blog on realityviews.blogspot.com

So I will censor comments on this blog. As i am responsible for your comments.

Now I blog using Google platform, thus Google is responsible for my articles and comments.

Thus if Government sends notice to Google,
Google will automatically censor or block my blog.
As Google will be held responsible for my actions, my articles.
I will be responsible for your actions and comments.

Thus Diligence clause will take away our freedom of speech.
It will indirectly give right to government to order big companies like Google to shutdown the xyz blog or Government will held you responsible for this blog article or content.
A new tool will come into force to Harass everyone ISP to bloggers.
Only we can enjoy limited freedom of speech and now this limited freedom of speech we will lose.

Reality views by sm –
Thursday, March 10, 2011

PS – For explanation, example purpose I have used the name of Google.

Keywords – Information Technology act 2008, Due diligence clause, Freedom of expression, Censorship by government in India

More Reading –

After reading comments I thought I need to clarify more thus I have written another article
Understanding Due Diligence observed by intermediary
a suggested new law or provision in Information technology act 2008


Suggested Reading –

India :Bloggers will be held guilty and responsible for content in blog.



Destination Infinity March 10, 2011  

The concept of blog owner being responsible for the comments/ links in his/ her blog is already there in other countries. But what I am not able to understand is, if the Google servers are in US, how can Indian law apply to them?

Destination Infinity

Amrit March 10, 2011  


Firstly it is a proposal right now anyway. I think this is a complex problem. Being blogger does not mean we can post anything. Just like news papers have to make sure they have enough evidence or facts to support their claims, for a strong allegations bloggers should have the same.

But we do not have much to worry...because typically we state facts.

Freedom of speech should be abused.

Bikram March 10, 2011  

so where does that leave us .. i am wondering ..
what is to become of us mere mortals


Arti March 10, 2011  

What an informative post... Never heard of this new law! Very intriguing indeed.

Arti March 10, 2011  

What an informative post... Never heard of this new law! Very intriguing indeed.

Irfanuddin March 10, 2011  

i agree with 'A' here...."Bloggers state facts only in their style".... so nothing to worry about...

sm,  March 10, 2011  

Destination Infinity,,

sm,  March 10, 2011  

I will again reply to your comment.

sm,  March 10, 2011  

Still it has not become part of law.
Lets see what happens.

sm,  March 10, 2011  

I came to know about this through Neha.
she gave me the link to this law.
thanks Neha.

sm,  March 10, 2011  



I think its time for me to move to hostgator for my blogging platform, i think then no one will have right to block my blog

SM March 11, 2011  

Devils blog,,
for example purpose i have used Google term.
Hostgator also comes under this.
Hostgator is also Intermediary.

iDeals October 05, 2015  

For my opinion, intermediary shall provide information to government agencies who are lawfully authorized for investigative, protective, cyber security or intelligence activity.

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Exploring the potential consequences of Google's influence on information. This thought-provoking post raises important questions about responsibility and control in the digital age. A timely reflection on the power of tech giants.
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