News: PIL against Social Networking sites in the Delhi HC

Social networking sites are under judicial scrutiny: A PIL has been filed in the Delhi High Court against different social networking websites. The petition scrutinizes the income generated by these sites and the taxation of the same. Among other things, it seeks a direction that such websites should not “do agreements” with individuals under the age of 13, and that government officers do “not use social networking websites through office computers” as this would pose a potential data threat.

The matter is listed for April 9, 2013. Watch this space.



News Post: January 07, 2013

A Happy New Year to all our readers!

  • Israeli soldiers assaulted two cameramen near a Palestinian-heavy area, despite having signs and jackets identifying themselves as pressmen. Following this attack is this interesting piece detailing past incidents in the Middle East where military force has led to the death of journalists.
  • The Hoot has released this survey on journalistic freedom in India, in 2012.
  • One of the several phone hacking incidents in News Corp’s past which led to the Levenson Inquiry, involving Hugh Grant, has reached a settlement. The proceeds are being donated to a charity dedicated to helping the victims of the hacking.
  • After a gap of nearly 50 years, Myanmar has allowed private newspapers to be set up, starting from the first of April.
  • A journalist covering a strike in Manipur was shot dead by the police, while filming an incident where a truck was being burnt by protesters.
  • A PIL involving the right to strike and protest has reached the final stages of hearing at the Delhi High Court.

News Post: December 21, 2012

  • Even as Indian authorities are increasingly finding issues under the IT Act to disallow various kinds of speech on the internet, authorities in the UK have a different take. They suggest that prosecution cannot be commenced if the post has been subsequently deleted.
  • The recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the US was hit with the added trauma of being severely misreported in the press. Some apologies from the press have been put together here.
  • The issues of journalistic standards have been raised often in the US press over the last few weeks, following a series of front page covers run by the New York Post, which have been criticised as lacking moralistic standards.
  • Social media, such as Twitter, are increasingly being seen as an additional tool to determine TV ratings.

News Post: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

  • The world’s only made-for-tablet news service shut down earlier this week, citing its lack of market, leading to questions about the viability of digital news reporting. Reasons for the failure of this enterprise have also been examined in some detail here.
  • Justice Markandey Katju, the Chairman of the Press Council of India was served with a notice for defamation following his remarks on the intelligence of the average Indian. He has responded to this notice in a lengthy post on his blog, here. This response was one of the conditions to refrain from filing a petition.
  • Section 66A of the Information Technology Act is currently subject to a PIL at the Supreme Court, challenging its constitutionality. The petitioner has been interviewed here. This PIL is in addition to two other petitions filed in the Allahabad High Court, and the Madras High Court. This is following the arrest of two girls for their comments on Facebook, after the death of Bal Thakeray late last month.
  • The recent prank call to the King Edward Vll hospital, leading to the suicide of the nurse who received the call, has raised questions of the efficacy of self-regulatory media codes, especially in cases such as these, where the actions could otherwise be justified as legal.
  • The Editors of Zee News have been arrested and remain in custody on extortion charges, after the CD containing footage of them allegedly accepting a bribe has been authenticated. They have since been denied bail.
  • The Levenson Report on media ethics, after the British phone hacking incident has been released. The executive summary is available here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

  • Google is drawing flak for its failure to protect consumer privacy, in Japan this time, for the defamatory impact of its “suggest” option in its searches. The District Court in Tokyo has asked Google to turn off its suggest feature. Google says it will contest the decision.
  • The UN released a released a report citing increased use of the internet by terrorists, especially through social networking sites, as a reason to increase internet surveillance. A summary of the report is available here.