Indians tweet #No66A against government’s decision to censor the Internet under Section 66A
As the BJP government continues to defend their stand to retain Section 66A before the Supreme Court, Twitteratis in India are expressing extreme displeasure at it. The new government, whose win is hugely attributed towards their Internet campaign, is rooting for a law that puts people behind bars for ‘offensive and annoying’ social media posts. People are clearly expressing their disappointment on the matter by using the #No66A, raising some important points and questions on the governments stand for keeping the law.
Section 66A prescribes three years of jail to anyone causing “annoyance or inconvenience” on online social media. Justifying retention of the law, the Centre told the Supreme Court that reach and impact of the Internet was wider and the level of restriction on this medium should be higher in comparison to print and television.
The Times Of India reports that additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta emphasized the need to continue with Section 66A. He said that it cannot be quashed or thrown out just because the provision is vague on defining the word grossly offensive.
“In case of Internet, it is very easy to invade someone’s privacy. Morphing of images can be done and put on Internet or some rumor can be spread through Internet which can create social disorder in society. It is not possible to outrage someone’s modesty through print and television but it can be easily done through internet,” he said.
The government is receiving a lot of flak over this matter, especially from netizens. Twitter was abuzz with people giving their opinions, some raising questions at the new government, while some just abusing Section 66A.
Ask for #No66A because it deprives you of a voice. Ensure there is no #NoSecretNetBlocking so that voices can’t be deleted secretly.
— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) February 26, 2015
Our Freedom of Expression. Our right to know multiple perspectives. This is democracy. #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking
— The Earthwoman (@tw_bhav) February 26, 2015
Remember 2012 when @narendramodi changed his DP to black to protest Internet censorship? #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking pic.twitter.com/JSPOjvApf7
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) February 26, 2015
Now that rail budget is over, Let’s get united to rail against 66A, Kapil Sibal’s lunacy that new government wants to continue. #No66A
— Bana de Lohagarh (@kamleshksingh) February 26, 2015
Guess this was a jumla too. @ankitlal @VishalDadlani #No66A pic.twitter.com/576gIDyamC
— Dhiraj Salian (@dhiraj_salian) February 26, 2015
And the road to hell is paved with such good intentions. #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking pic.twitter.com/sHZ4AJjICy
— oculus (@daddy_san) February 26, 2015
See how effective the correct censorship can be….it will save our country. #No66A http://t.co/nBc94AMTO1
— Vir Das (@thevirdas) February 26, 2015
Let’s get united against 66A, now BJP government wants to continue Kapil Sibal’s Nonsense and curb our freedom of expression #No66A
— ??????? (@Iam_Prerna) February 26, 2015
For a government which came to power riding on a spirited social media campaign, holding on to 66A is such a shame. Let the internet be free
— Pratyasha Rath (@pratyasharath) February 26, 2015
In case you missed it, this is what the @narendramodi govt said in court today. #No66A #NoSecretBlocking pic.twitter.com/flv7XMArvX
— Nikhil Pahwa (@nixxin) February 26, 2015
For every tweet that you post today. Please add #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking Protect free speech on the internet.
— Saikat Datta (@saikatd) February 26, 2015
If you value your Internet freedom, let the govt know. Useful hashtags: #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking
— Nilanjana Roy (@nilanjanaroy) February 26, 2015
Government is preparing to cut down ur freedom f speech on internet. Raise your voice against it,say #No66A @HHK_aap pic.twitter.com/wb76lX0HsJ
— MEEzan CHAND (@meezanmdchand) February 26, 2015
* Protect Internet , Protect Human Right, Protect Privacy. * #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking pic.twitter.com/4am2UOn9Di
— Ratan Maitra (@ratanmaitra) February 26, 2015
Right to Internet Freedom #No66A #NoSecretNetBlocking pic.twitter.com/jS15SETIon
— VivekoMON (@ivivekkm) February 26, 2015
In 2012, two girls were arrested in Mumbai for posting a seemingly harmless status on Facebook questioning Mumbai shutdown after the death of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray. The other girl was arrested just for liking the post. Just last month, after the Charlie Hebdo shooting, Mumbai Police blocked over 650 social media posts in the garb of ‘not hurting religious sentiments’. In December, the RAK Marg police station in Wadala, Mumbai booked lawyer Vijay Gaikwad for allegedly posting some offensive remarks against Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. If Section 66 (A) is retained, many such cases will be a common affair.