Civil Liberties

Censorship an Issue for Internet Giants Doing Business in India

Local authorities might be democratically elected, but they're not so respectful of free speech


At the end of last week, a hashtag briskly rose across India:  #Emergency2012. It was a reference to the 21-month stint, beginning in the summer of 1975, when then PM Indira Gandhi determined democracy an inconvenience.

This time around, the government launched a jumbled attempt, following ethnic violence in the northeast, to stem rumors behind a panicked exodus. They blocked over 300 sites and axed at least 16 Twitter accounts, including those of political opponents and journalists. Many of us found our cell phone texts suddenly, with no announcement, cut off after five missives.