Google now takes the fight to the court in India - Here's why

Google may have complied with the new IT Rules in India, which became effective from last month. But it has now told the Delhi High Court ...

Google may have complied with the new IT Rules in India, which became effective from last month. But it has now told the Delhi High Court that the new guidelines didn't apply to it. 

Just to clarify, this claim of Google has come in a different case, and quite unlike WhatsApp, the search engine giant is not challenging the government. But it has just filed an appeal in a case in which it was classified as a "social media intermediary". Google's contention is that it is just a search engine.

What's the case?

A woman had approached the court claiming her photographs and images, though not in themselves obscene or offensive, were taken from her Facebook and Instagram accounts without her consent, and uploaded on a pornographic website with suggestive captions added to them. The court ordered the removal of the pics, but as it happens these days, the photographs could not completely be removed in its entirety from the internet. The offensive pics were reposted in other sites.

It is here the Court considered Google's search engine to be an intermediary, and said that it must "endeavour to employ pro-active monitoring by using automated tools, to identify and remove or disable access to any content which is exactly identical to the offending content that is the subject matter of the court order."

"If the intermediary fails to meet these conditions, it was liable to forfeit its privilege of exemption under the Information Technology (IT) Act," the court said.

Responding the court judgement, Google put out a statement, saying: "Search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the Internet. And while we maintain a consistent policy over removal of objectionable content from search results, the Delhi High Court order has cast certain obligations that would wrongly classify Google search as a social media intermediary."

Google's appeal

Google, in its appeal yesterday, said the court order has conflated various sections of the IT Act and separate rules prescribed thereunder.  The court has passed template orders combining all such offences and provisions, which is bad in law, Google said.

It added the function of a search engine was to only “crawl and index existing information as available or published or hosted by independent third-party websites”.

This process of search did not censor the findings — it found material that corresponded to the request of the search, hosted by other independent third-party websites that were beyond the control of search engines.

In the event, it said the new IT rules framed under the new guidelines are not applicable to its search engine and sought the removal of the observation by the judge that it was a "social media intermediary".

The court will hear the case again on July 25, and has also issued notices to the Indian government, the Internet Service Providers Association of India, Facebook, the pornographic site and the woman.

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Trendly News | #ListenNow #Everyday #100ShortNews #TopTrendings #PopularNews #Reviews #TrendlyNews: Google now takes the fight to the court in India - Here's why
Google now takes the fight to the court in India - Here's why
Trendly News | #ListenNow #Everyday #100ShortNews #TopTrendings #PopularNews #Reviews #TrendlyNews
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