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The Big Picture – Content on Internet: Should there be reasonable restrictions?

The proliferation of the news media and the social media has brought with it many new areas of problems on the legal front.

The IT Act, which has been around for some years now, has sought to provide the legal framework to deal with some of the problems which are cropping up more often now.

While some of these problems are affecting the ordinary users of the internet, the service providers also have their own set of objections.

The Supreme Court at present is involved in hearing a petition filed by the internet and mobile association of India challenging section 66A and 79-3c and 80 of the IT Act which deal with the punishment to those violating the law.

Meanwhile the government has upheld its right in a petition before the court to issue take down notices to control and restrict certain content and has called it reasonable restrictions.

If the internet is not restricted it can create chaos or disharmony in the society.

Many people are opposed to this law. They are saying that Article 19(1) of the Indian constitution is being violated.

It is also true that Section 66A is being misused toady.

Some experts feel that there should not be any restrictions but awareness should be put in place.

All of the IPCs and CRPCs apply to the internet.

IT law is only the mother legislation in India which deals with everything in the electronic form.

Section 81 of the IT Act further complicates the matter. It says that it is a special law and the provisions of this law prevail over anything inconsistent there with contained in any other law in force.

IT law always prevails if it comes in conflict with any other laws.

Majority of cyber offences are bailable today.

IT law has made cyber terrorism as heinous offence punishable with life imprisonment.

The service providers are now mandated to remove the content which is in violation of the IT Act.