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Internet regulation body on India‘s agenda at UN

Internet regulation body on India‘s agenda at UN
India will push for formulating internet regulation and governance at the level of United Nations, after consultation with civil society and advocacy groups.

The move by India, which has support from China, in regulating internet at UN level would mean that control of social media corporations such as Twitter, Google and Facebook would finally wrest in hands of United Nations and its member nations.

A UN committee, as proposed by India, would also step in cases of dispute resolution between governments and internet companies.

"The proposal, prepared by Ministry of External Affairs and endorsed by Department of IT and Electronics, is a step forward towards the democratisation of the global internet related public policy issues," Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot today said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha, to a question put forth by member of parliament Rajeev Chandrashekhar.

India, however, said in its statement at UN that its proposal should not be viewed as an attempt by governments to "take over" or "regulate and circumscribe" the internet.

India has been pushing for global internet governance at the level of UN, which has been critszed by some countries and advocacy groups. The proposal to formulate a committee at United Nations on internet related policies was in consultation with Brazil and South Africa, Pilot added.

The proposal was put forth at the UN Commission for Science and Technology Development in May, the Minister said.

But most member nations think otherwise. In July, UN Human Rights Council in Genevapassed its first resolution on internet freedom with a call for all nations to support individual and human rights online, despite opposition by India and China, which want a UN committee on internet governance.

As envisaged by India's ministry of external affairs, the United Nations Committee for Internet-Related Policies (CIRP) would undertake arbitration and dispute resolution, in scenarios such as the present where rumours are being spread via internet on violence in northeast India andMyanmar.

Minister of Communications and Information Technology Kapil Sibal on Friday said that the solution to this problem (of objectionable content online) should be a permanent one. "That will only happen when we talk to all the stakeholders and form such a mechanism under which any objectionable content is removed," he said

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