The government of India wants total control of the internet

Digital Land Use in India: A case study of the Gujarat-Indian Big Tech Battle (Bayesian Agriculture and Small Business Reforms)

The documentary criticized Modi as chief minister of the western state of Gujarat when riots broke out between Hindus and Muslims in 2002, which was broadcasted in the United Kingdom in January.

“The fact is that emergency powers are for something which is a very serious grave security implication that threatens the sovereignty of the nation, the peace of the nation,” says Banerjee, a seasoned journalist who runs The Deshbhakt (“the patriot”), a satirical YouTube channel covering politics and international affairs. The government banned a documentary that talks about something that happened years ago.

The government will add more legislation over the next few months and it will probably expand its powers. Lawyers, digital rights activists, and journalists say this amounts to an attempt to reshape the Indian internet, creating a less free, less pluralistic space for the country’s 800 million users. It might force changes at big Tech companies and set precedents for how the internet is governed, as a result of it, they say.

The Indian government’s Big Tech battle began with a dispute over farm laws. In late 2020 and early 2021, tens of thousands of farmers marched on Delhi to protest proposed agricultural reforms (which were repealed by the end of 2021). The movement was mirrored online, with farmers and unions using social media platforms—including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram—to galvanize support. The accounts that are popular on the social network expressed their support for the protesters. Then-CEO Jack Dorsey liked some celebrity posts supporting the farmers.

Defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Freedom of Press Expression in India: Three Days of BBC/Broadcasting Corp Director General Searches

The BBC says it will not be “put off” from reporting in India after the government prevented a documentary critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from airing in the country and raided the broadcaster’s offices.

Three days of searches were conducted last week at the Bombay and Delhi offices of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The Indian government used emergency powers to ban the documentary and the raids came after that.

The director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation applauded their courage in the face of what press groups and India’s main opposition Congress party have decried as an attack on press freedom.

“Our duty to our audiences around the world is to pursue the facts through independent and impartial journalism, and to produce and distribute the very best creative content. We won’t have to give up on that task.

Reporters Without Borders said that the searches had all the hallmarks of a reprisal, coming as they did weeks after the Indian government barred the Modi documentary from airing and blocked clips of it on social media.

Modi was accused of not doing enough to stop the violence, which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. Modi has denied wrongdoing, and a special investigation team appointed by India’s Supreme Court in 2012 found no evidence to suggest he was to blame.

A senior leader of India’s Congress Party was arrested on Thursday, accused of insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


Contributions to the Working Group on Low-energy Nuclear Physics in New Delhi, Manchester, London, and Hong Kong (Napoleona et al.)

In New Delhi, Manchester, London, and Hong Kong there are people who have contributed reporting.

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