Asking for the impossible
The rage over IT Minister Kapil Sibal was very evident on twitter than any other social sites. Indians were quick enough to create a Streisand effect and almost instantly proved how Sibal was wrong on all fronts. The very idea of controlling the social site contents met with enormous amount of “could be Deemed Offensive” contents via tweets starting with the hash tag #IdxotKapilSibal.
(Image courtesy : Labnol )
The very idea to raise this issue during the parliament session would raise doubts about the intention of the minister. People are now more aware than before and quick to see through these political smoke screen. UPA tried to create a diversion with FDI which met with backlash from all quarters and now this censorship diversion.
Even if we take it in its face value, the concept of pre-screening is a Himalayan task to achieve. He also said he didn’t want it to be automated, but to be screened by humans. Many recalled this to the emergency period of India, during which all press publishing office used to be filled with party people and each line should be approved by them before it gets printed. The very nature of putting someone or some group to screen a traffic which is almost amounts to at least 20-40% of world`s user generated comments / pictures could be considered a punishment. That doesn’t include the personal bias one might have on a comment and also regional language one has to deal with. This very idea is laughable at most and anything similar to word filter could be bypassed within seconds using # , or * or whatever and our human minds are now well programmed to grab the core with just few starting letters .. like “SH^T” or “ A$% H@#$ “. If then, govt should openly come out in public and spill out the words it intend to censor , which I think would be epic to look into.
That was the easy part , what about pictures and video ? Even though there are rudimentary tools to deal , like “similar images” from Google image search , but then a computer simply doesn’t know in what context the picture of someone or a thing is used . It could be an event , a genuine party press meet , is this govt going to censor it ? And where does the govt draw the line on which photo to be included and which not ?
This is all pure fantasy by a minister who simply doesn’t understand the working of the internet and its more about personal (party) fulfillment to take down contents which is critical about their party.
With so many farmers dying daily , inflation soaring to new heights , rupee plunging to new low , corruption rampant at every corner , Does this govt has any point of concern to these than sticking out their head where they are very eager in taking away the peoples liberty ?
These people (illiterates of technology) should know that we netizens are already up in arms if any such socially offensive stuff pops up and we also make sure those kind of stuff doesn’t reach the “casual users”. Also to create a myth that internet will serve as communal violence planning hideout is too hilarious. Even if such people who are determined to do so wont able to create enough momentum from a 5% population (net users) . These people , whatever screening you do will find ways to send out the message . When this tech-savvy population is even reluctant to come out to vote , the myth of them going out on street to start a communal violence is just too good only to be in movie , possibly starring Ar!ndham Chow…
Its time IT minister gets his priorities right than creating myths and possibly using it as a tool to suppress critics upon his party. How about IT minister call upon ISP`s and order to bump the basic speed upto to at least 1MBPS within 4 months for a start ? How about asking them to launch feasible 3G plans for people ? Or even setting up or encouraging Host providers to have their servers wholly in India rather than in U.S ? and cut the peering cost within India to half ?
When you can easily take something lightly when a opposition says seriously and in turn give a funny rebuttal , its not too much to ask to a national party to take things lightly of these petty stuff and carry on with much larger picture of making India a better place. Also I would happily say “Welcome to Internet !! “ .
It is also high time for net users of India to know about Net neutrality , Right for Privacy (read UID ), and spend little time on politics , economics and world events , as they have serious repercussion in India directly or indirectly (Eg : Fall of rupee )
I will leave with this picture :