Indian CIOs Don’t Buy Threat to Block Sites Like China

Indian CIOs says government needs to provide more clarity.

Debarati Roy Jan 16th 2012 A-A+



Indian CIOs says government needs to provide more clarity.


Indian CIOs are pooh-poohing the Delhi High Court’s recent threat to follow China’s footsteps and block Internet sites like Facebook India and Google India, if these sites don’t comply with Indian law.

“Its highly improbable that such an act would come into existence. The government could merely be referring to China’s extremist methods to make companies comply with its laws,” Tamal Chakravarthy, CIO, Ericsson India.

Calling the ruling to monitor and remove content slightly absurd, Manoj Nigam, VP-IT, Vodafone India, feels that the ruling would have been more palatable if there was a basic framework or guidelines that Internet and social media sites could follow.

“There needs to a clear set of framework and guidelines for the social media websites. The government should work with them to help each other filter out unwanted content from such sites,” Nigam says “Looking at the volumes and the hazy uncertainties around the topic, it would be extremely difficult for these companies.”

“The problem here lies in the grey area called objectionable,” says Ranendra Dutta, VP-IT, SABMiller India. “The government needs to first come up with a classifies categorical list of what all they think would be objectionable to the diverse population of India.”

Dutta and Nigam both agree that while there is a risk that some material might trigger disharmony, a blanket ban is not the solution.

On the face of it, Nigam, don’t see large losses to enterprises, even if the ban comes into place. Although he did add, “They can’t possible ban Google. The world will come to an end if there is no Google.”

 But SABMiller’s Dutta sees a definite impact. “In comparison to traditional advertising mediums like print or billboards, social media is both low-cost and creates more personal impact on a wider audience,” says Dutta. “Taking back these channels will transport us to where we were 10 years ago.”