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Women arrested for Facebook post: Did cops act under Sena pressure?

by Prasad Krishna last modified Nov 21, 2012 11:17 AM
After Bal Thackeray's death, during the Mumbai Bandh, a 21-year-old criticised the shutdown on her Facebook page — her friend approved of it — next thing they know, they are facing a case, and this morning they were arrested.

YP Singh, Alyque Padamsee, Rohan Joshi, Karuna Nundy and Pranesh Prakash took part in a discussion about the arrest of two girls over a Facebook comment. The discussion was aired in NDTV on November 19, 2012.

The anchor asked Pranesh Prakash:

Who are these people scrolling through people's Facebook posts and Twitter accounts, finding these comments and taking action?

Pranesh Prakash said that it could be anyone. The reality is doesn't really matter because the laws are written in such a way that if it is public and stuff that is on Facebook for different purposes can either be public or private, if it is public these laws can very often apply and that is a problem. We haven't quite figured out to what extent these laws apply. The IT Act section 66A for instance, is unconstitutional, section 295 A which has been applied, and section 505 which also seems to have been applied in this case make it a clear case of misappropriation of those provisions. These kind of arrests will happen. It doesn't quite matter if we have right laws at one level and it clearly doesn't help if we have bad laws. What we need to do at least in part to remedy the situation is to amend the IT Act to make it consonant and consistent with civil and political rights and to do so in multi-stakeholder fashion  involving civil society, industry and government. Right now it doesn't protect privacy and freedom of speech as much as it should.


Watch the full video aired on NDTV

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