Bangalore: All websites, including social media sites, would have to operate within the India laws and be responsible for hosting any content, Minister of State for Communications & IT Sachin Pilot said on Monday.
"Be it a social media website or any other site on internet, they all have to operate within the laws of the country and they should be accountable and responsible for what they put up on their web pages," Pilot told reporters on the margins of a summit here.
Ruling out censorship or blocking of any website, including those facilitating social networking like Facebook, Pilot said the government would not come in the way of freedom of speech, be it positive or negative, but whatever content they host should not hurt feelings or sentiments of anyone.
"Our concern is only with objectionable content. There is no place for things that would offend anyone or cause social disharmony. Laws have been made to protect the fundamental rights of the people and they are applicable to all," Pilot said after inaugurating the seventh edition of the Indian Semiconductors Association (ISA) summit.
Pilot's remarks came in the light of a Delhi court on Monday directing Facebook, Yahoo, Google and other 19 websites to file written statements on removing objectionable content from their sites.
Clarifying that cyber laws governing websites and the internet traffic were made in consultation with all stakeholders, including those providing social media and other web services, the minister said firms offering the service should have a self-regulated mechanism to redress grievances of individuals or groups of people whose feelings get hurt by objectionable or offensive content.
"There is no government stand separate from what the laws are. We just want them to operate in conformity with the laws that have to be followed by everyone. The internet traffic is growing exponentially as the number of users has already crossed 100 million," Pilot observed.