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Indian Court Orders Google To Remove Content 477

Posted by samzenpus
from the never-happened dept.
itwbennett writes "A Court in Delhi, India has ordered Google to remove content that 'is said to mock gods worshipped in India,' according to an IDG News Service report. Mufti Ajiaz Arshad Qasmi, a private citizen, 'had filed a civil suit against Google and other Internet companies including Facebook, objecting to certain content on their websites.' While Google agreed to remove the content, citing a 'long-standing policy of responding to court orders,' other Internet companies named in the suit are likely to appeal."
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Indian Court Orders Google To Remove Content

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  • by countertrolling (1585477) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:55AM (#38942305) Journal

    A big hardy "FUCK YOU!"

    • by vlm (69642) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:07AM (#38942483)

      More seriously:

      1) Your god is too weak/inferior/doesn't exist thus cannot punish me... you're not serious suggesting you are more powerful/all knowing that your own god and therefore usurping his power and position to judge, are you? This is the change of venue strategy.

      2) The holy texts of religion X basically mock religion Y therefore lets ban religion X before wasting time on the inter-tubes. This is the distraction strategy.

      3) Share the links. Mass civil disobedience strategy. Sooo.... lets go for it. Lemme guess, its something really creative like a link to the new testament at PG...

    • by JavaBear (9872) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:33AM (#38942869)

      Agreed. besides why do the believers feel the need to handle insults for their deities?
      I'd think that all powerful beings would be amply capable of smiting anyone they themselves deem to have insulted them, and find it quite revealing that so far none have done so.

      • by superwiz (655733)

        And just as importantly, why does God <longpause></longpause> need a spaceship?

        This has been an allusion to the worst Star Trek movie ever. If this was an allusion to a better Star Trek movie, you wouldn't have that look on your face right now.

      • by houghi (78078) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:25PM (#38945081)

        I'd think that all powerful beings would be amply capable of smiting anyone they themselves deem to have insulted them,

        Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
        Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
        Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
        Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
                                                    Epicarus 47 A.D.

        • by williamhb (758070)

          I'd think that all powerful beings would be amply capable of smiting anyone they themselves deem to have insulted them,

          Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
          Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
          Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
          Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

          Epicarus 47 A.D.

          Which just goes to show that if you credit an ancient Greek you can get modded insightful for any old rubbish.

          Epicurus died in 270BC, some 300 years before you've credited this quote, and this contortion of his words it seems has its source in Charles Bufe's 1992 rather less academic "The Heretic's Handbook of Quotations" (I wonder whether he had an agenda in writing that one!) Epicurus's argument, worded rather differently, was not against God, but against the Aristotelean view of God. Which is why the a

  • by na1led (1030470) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:56AM (#38942327)
    So it's ok to say anything you want, but don't offend religion? What happend to freedom of speech? I think the world is better off without Religion if you ask me!
    • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:04AM (#38942431)

      This is India, not the US. Although I'm not familiar with the Indian government, I they don't follow the United State's First Amendment to the same degree we pretend to follow it her and in much of the West.

      Although Religion may be outdated, we can thank it for many cultural and technological advances, even in modern fields such as genetics.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        We can also thank it for the inquisition and the dark ages. While we're at it, why don't we thank it for the Bush administration and it's stifling of scientific progress. To defend religion as a friend of and benefactor to scientific advances is akin to thanking colonial slavery for having a black president.
        • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:13AM (#38942579)

          While we're at it, why don't we thank it for the Bush administration and it's stifling of scientific progress.

          You mean, by becoming the first Administration to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research?

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            I think you mean the first to completely cut all funding for embryonic stem cell research. There is a pretty broad consensus in the scientific community that these guys were not friend to advancement and if you could possibly prove otherwise I'd love to see some proof.
            • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:32AM (#38942853)
              Before George W. Bush, the federal government provided zero funding for any embryonic stem cell research. Under George W. Bush, the federal government provided funding for some embryonic stem cell research. You may not like the restrictions he placed on such federal funding, but he was the first President to provide any such funding. This source clearly lays out the timeline [allaboutpo...issues.org] in the seond to last paragraph.
              One of the things you will find is that a large portion of the "scientific community" exists within colleges and universities, which view anyone who believes that people are responsible for the consequences of their actions as ignorant heathens.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ohnocitizen (1951674)
            That doesn't outweigh the Bush admin's decision to muzzle scientists on a range of issues when their views collided. That is about as anti-science as you can get.
        • by Baloroth (2370816) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:19AM (#38942671)

          And we can thank science for WMDs, eugenics, pollution of the environment, human experimentation, and a list of other things far too long to put here.

          Or maybe we can just put the blame where it belongs, which is on the people who actually do these evils and use science or religion as cover

          • by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:27AM (#38942795)
            To be fair, I don't think that science really has an agenda to push other than the furthering of human understanding. WMD's and Eugenics were actually developed by science, for wars which are more often than not brought about by religious zealots.

            No one's hands are clean, but it's not like these people would have come up with this stuff without the motivation of pleasing their deities.
            • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:59PM (#38944007) Journal

              WW1 and WW2 were religious? Korea was Religious? Vietnam? Iraq 1 n 2? Afghanistan? Libya? Kosovo?

              Oh, you mean wars from hundreds of years ago? like the Civil War? oh wait, not that war... you mean other wars like Napoleonic? wait, no not that one ... hmmm couldn't be Revolutionary wars and all the other wars of revolts ...

              Wait? You're not one of those "I HATE RELIGION" trolls are you that turns a blind eye to every significant war of the last 200 years or so, just so you can bash religion for long past "wars".

              I think Politics and Governments cause wars, so ... let us ban those!

              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:47PM (#38944509) Journal

                Afghanistan?

                Not sure which one you're referring to, but yes, both were religious.

                The Soviet-Afghan war was actually a civil war between socialist secularists and moderate-to-radical Islamists, with the first faction backed by USSR, and the second backed by Pakistan and USA. The primary reason for the war was that Islamists were offended at such horrible Soviet innovations as mixed-gender schools and universities.

                The second war was against Taliban - 'nuff said.

                Kosovo?

                Definitely religious. Serbs are Orthodox Christian, Albanians are mostly Muslim. Kosovo itself is called "Kosovo and Metohija" in Serbian, and "Metohija" literally means "monastery lands" - because that was the historical seat of the Church in Serbia, and it's where most of its monasteries were. Then it also has Kosovo Polje, the place of the historical battle where (Christian) Serbian forces were defeated by the invading (Muslim) Ottoman army, after which Serbia was annexed into Ottoman Empire.

                And yes, it also comes up in the fighting - Albanians burn down churches [bbc.co.uk], and Serbs burned mosques.

                Libya?

                What, did you miss the jihad flag [dailymail.co.uk] flying over Bengazi in the wake of rebel victory? Or that the country is transitioning to Sharia [csmonitor.com] as its primary source of legislation?

              • by tragedy (27079) on Monday February 06, 2012 @02:03PM (#38944757)

                WW1 and WW2 were religious?

                You may have missed the bit in WW2 where Jews and Gypsies were being rounded up and burned in big ovens and the fact that the Nazi leader followed a mix of Christianity and pan-german mysticism and came to power partly because a group of well connected secret society/cultist types thought he was their prophesized leader. Oh, you might have missed the symbol that Nazi Germany used for its flag.

                You may have also missed the bit from WW1 where Archduke Ferdinand was killed by a Serbian Orthodox Christian and that one of their chief complaints against the Austro-Hungarian empire. Then there's the whole bit with the Ottoman Empire.

                Religion was not the only factor in these wars, clearly, but neither did it play no role. As for Korea and Vietnam? Did you miss the bit where the US was getting so worked up about the "godless commies" that they changed their national motto to "in god we trust". Iraq 1 was heavily based in fallout from the religious war between Iraq and Iran. In Iraq 2, the born-again Christian of the United States, who claimed to have mystical powers and to receive direct instruction from his god, referred to the war as a crusade. It was also frequently justified on the basis of the Sept 11th terrorist attacks, which had a firm basis in religion, and, when people pointed out that Iraq had nothing to do with those, the alternative reason given was that Saddam Hussein had brutally gassed Kurds to death in a religiously motivated civil war.

          • by couchslug (175151)

            Actual eugenics, as opposed to "pseudo-science in its name with ideological agendas", is not a bad idea at all.

    • by nschubach (922175) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:09AM (#38942519) Journal

      It just makes me ask, as an atheist, can I file a suit that says all references to God mocks my opinion and have Google remove those links from every search?

      (Disclaimer: Devils's Advocate [no pun intended] only. I have no problem what you do with your personal life... just keep it personal.)

  • by thej1nx (763573) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:58AM (#38942353)
    Feel free to be politically correct and mod me down.

    But elections being this close, and due to the victory being uncertain because of corruption scandals, the ruling congress party in India is out to appease the muslims who vote en-masse.

    And muslims have long since been against freedom of speech and expression of non-muslims. If Google complies, it gives them a tool to get those mohammed cartoons removed from internet permanently. "Gods worshiped in India" indeed. Save for some lunatic fringe groups, hindus in general, tend to usually ignore such stuff. Or at least, barring some peaceful protest, they are at least not out to kill the heretics.
    • Much of that might be true, except removing cartoons from the Internet permanently. Contrary to popular belief, Google is neither the Internet nor do they control a significant portion of the Internet. It may become more difficult to find, but content on the Internet is damned near immortal.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Christians have an equally long tradition of opposing freedom of speech when it's not in their taste. And of cause in much of Europe it is still illegal to publicly criticize the Jewish faith.

      • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:56AM (#38943153)

        Bullshit. It is illegal to deny that the Holocaust happened. It is perfectly legal to criticize the jewish faith. Two very different things.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:24AM (#38942765)

      I am an Indian (live in the US now) and am a Hindu (by birth - I really don't care much for any religion personally) and I find your description to be biased and false. Just as Hindus in general, are laid back about most things, so too are the Muslims. I had the good fortune of studying in a Jesuit run school in a relatively poor, muslim neighborhood in Mumbai, and I had several close friends across many religions. Hindus are just as "against freedom of speech and expression" as are the Muslims. You are just deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

      You need no more proof than to look at cases such as the artist M.F.Husain, who was pretty much exiled from the country by Hindu fundamentalists who were outraged that he depicted some Hindu deities in the nude.

      "Or at least, barring some peaceful protest, they are at least not out to kill the heretics" - Yeah, sure, tell that to all the victims of the Gujarat riots at the hands of crazed Hindu fundamentalists (with complicity from the pro-Hindu state government).

  • by couchslug (175151) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:58AM (#38942357)

    ...and my hands were on it.

  • by PPH (736903) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:58AM (#38942359)

    ... the long arm of Indian law. All six of them.

  • by orphiuchus (1146483) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:58AM (#38942365)

    If I am not a member of your religion then I don't want your stupid religious crap affecting me. In any way.

    This can be applied to any religious group complaining about content offensive to their religion(I think we know the usual culprit here).

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:02AM (#38942413)

      I say we start a new religion, and have as our holy symbol a rectangle with three horizontal stripes; orange, white, and green. And we find any other use of similar symbols, especially with other iconography added in, to be deeply insulting to our beliefs. Then move to India... umm... step 4... Profit!

      • by vlm (69642)

        I say we start a new religion, and have as our holy symbol a rectangle with three horizontal stripes; orange, white, and green.

        I'm thinking more like a green square with a white diagonal slash from lower left to upper right and a white dot at the lower right corner.
        Often seen flying in close formation with the skull and crossbones flag. Holy prophets are RMS, Linus and maybe the goatse guy.
        Extremely heavily overstaffed with male vestal virgins. Holy sites beyond the obvious are the googleplex, apple hq, 4chan, kuro5hin, and mom's basement.
        Every religion has weird restrictions and sins, our will be microsoft, all other religions,

  • All gods are deserving of equal protection under the law, no matter how utterly ludicrous any sane, rational mind would find the completely risible concept of worshipping magical monkeys and frilly-skirted four-armed elephant things.
    • Wrong religion. Not all Indians are Hindu. The guy's name is Mufti Ajiaz Arshad Qasmi. [wikipedia.org]

      I realize that the desire for censorship crops up in pretty much all religions, but let's lay the blame where it's warranted in this case.
  • If the crusade against depictions of Muhammad is any indication, expect a round of comics around the Hindu gods to come out at any moment.

  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Monday February 06, 2012 @10:59AM (#38942379) Homepage
    Gods are rather powerful and knowing. Can't they just deal with this stuff without involving Google?
    • by cvtan (752695) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:08AM (#38942497)
      So Gods need protection from Google. This is priceless!
      • by ackthpt (218170)

        So Gods need protection from Google. This is priceless!

        This isn't a protection of God, it's a protection of those men who claim to speak for God. Beware of anyone who claims to speak for God who believes you need to be killed for heresy, blasphemy or simply being in their way of obtaining power. All these crappy extremists, of all strips, are driven by leaders who want power - only when it is too late do the people who served them find they are the first to be oppressed.

        • by medv4380 (1604309) on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:26PM (#38943597)

          This isn't a protection of God, it's a protection of those men who claim to speak for God.

          Gandhi never claimed to speak for God. He didn't elevate himself to Mahatma ether. Those where things that others attributed to him just as you are attributing that he and others like him would commit murder for this offense.

          If I were to draw a picture of Drew Barrymore prostituting herself out on the Vegas Strip I could easily find myself slapped with a lawsuit as well. Free speech doesn't mean freedom to commit libel and slander.

  • Now that it's been firmly established that Google will remove content that courts in whatever $COUNTRY deem blasphemous, I suppose it's only a matter of time before places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Texas start to get in on the action and start censoring content they find offensive, like journal articles on evolutionary biology or pictures of women driving. Way to put (outdated) ideas over people's fundamental rights, Google.

    • by jonnythan (79727) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:13AM (#38942583) Homepage

      Google has to comply with the laws of the countries in which it operates. Texas is prevented by the bill of rights from passing laws that limit freedom of religion and religious commentary, so Texas could not legally issue a court order demanding that Google remove such content.

      Saudi Arabia and India apparently can, though. Google's choice is to either comply with the laws of those nations or simply cease operations in those nations. Considering that no nation on earth has truly unlimited freedom of speech, let alone the US, it makes sense to make occasional court-ordered concessions by removing data accessible in those countries.

  • by canajin56 (660655) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:02AM (#38942411)
    While they have agreed to take down the content in a civil suit, they still face criminal prosecution. In India you are criminally responsible for third party posts to your website, so Google India employees are still facing criminal charges. And agreeing to take it down has destroyed the Google employees' defense that they could not have preemptively taken it down because it is out of their control.
  • If the court believes it must remove comments which 'mock gods worshiped in India,' then wouldn't they also have to remove comments which 'mock gods NOT worshiped in India'?

    If it is offensive to you, for me to say that your gods are silly myths; why shan't it be offensive to me, for you to say that they are real? I mean, let's be honest, at least I'm right.

    • I am not sure that there are many gods not worshiped in India. Besides having a large Hindu population, there is also still many Muslims, Buddhists (started in India and Buddha is considered even by Hindus as an incarnation of Vishnu), Christians (Christ also is considered an incarnation of Vishnu by some), and Sikhs.

  • Will them ban Discworld novels in all the country?
  • It is legal to do so. Otherwise, both the entertainment and news industry as we know them would be gone.

  • His noodly appendages are clearly drawn incorrectly as a way to mock his starchiness. I demand that /. remove them immediately.

  • I just posted a rant on my FB page about how juvenile American culture is that so many people are upset over a musician doing a "naughty gesture" during the Superbowl half time show and how the news media is STILL talking about a woman's nipple being seen during the same show 8 years prior.

    This article about India makes me feel better about the US. Ours isn't the only culture that needs to grow up.

     

  • by medv4380 (1604309) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:25AM (#38942779)
    Before I get offended that Google would do such a thing or that India would think that it has jurisdiction. I would like to know what the objectionable material was exactly. If it was something like someone comparing the religious leaders of India to pedophile catholic priests I would understand, but if it was just "your God sucks" then Google should have stood its ground. So does anyone have a link or something that actually describes the offence because the article did not.
  • I am sure I am not the only person who wishes that we had a search engine for all of the things banned by other search engines. I am glad to see that heretical.com is still up, in spite of all of the attempts to have it shut.

  • by Adrian Lopez (2615)

    Has the content only been removed from all of Google's websites, or just Google India?

    It's scary to think of what the Interenet would look like if each and every website had to follow the laws of each and every country. I know the fact that Google has facilities in India puts significant pressure on them to comply, but the thought of being bound by the numerous idiotic laws around the world is extremely worrisome.

    Google is apparently adopting a strategy of censoring content on a per-country basis. That's th

  • by hack slash (1064002) on Monday February 06, 2012 @11:57AM (#38943171)
    "Something in another country I can access in the comfort of my own home offends me!"

    Don't fucking access it then.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday February 06, 2012 @12:03PM (#38943249) Journal
    The plaintiffs:

    Google has agreed before a court in Delhi to remove religious and other content considered objectionable, though some other Internet firms are likely to appeal the court's decision, plaintiff Mufti Ajiaz Arshad Qasmi said on Monday.

    The appeal:

    The government allowed the court to prosecute the Internet companies under various Indian laws in the criminal case, but Google has meanwhile appealed the decision before the Delhi High Court.

    Basic background: India is the country with the second largest Muslim population in the world, number of Indian Muslims dwarfs Pakistan, Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh. Just recently Indonesia overtook it. Muslims form a sizeable vote bank, some 15% of the electorate and almost all the politicians kow-tow the lines drawn by them. There is widespread belief that the Muslims are punching way above their weight politically. But even when there is provocation like Muslim painters paint Hindu goddesses in the nude or something, the Hindu reaction is usually divided. The secularists are mostly in control of the hard liners on the Hindu side. Once in a while you hear Hindu hardliners banning Valentines Day or protesting some movie or a book.

    Having said that, for country with that large a Muslim population, very few of the Indian Muslims are involved in terrorism, or support terrorism. Despite periodical outrageous attacks by Pakistani Muslims terrorist outfits inside India, there is no widespread retaliation against the local Muslims. Indian Muslims join the police and military in large numbers.

  • by ThatsNotPudding (1045640) on Monday February 06, 2012 @01:09PM (#38944105)
    ruins everything.

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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