Why Kerala’s anti-fake news law is urgently needed

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has withdrawn the controversial Sec 118A of the Kerala Police Act, also known as the anti Fake News law, pending fine-tuning and further consultations. “Whoever makes, expresses, publishes or disseminates through any kind of mode of communication, any matter or subject for threatening, abusing, humiliating or defaming a person or […]

Govt to scrap jail terms for violating Cable TV Act

In keeping with the recently announced move to decriminalize smaller offences — especially those of a technical or financial nature — Government of India today proposed to remove jail terms for violating Cable TV Networks Regulation Act. At present, the violation of the cable TV Act can result in jail terms of up to two […]

Swamy says too much fear around; ‘Fear led to emergency’

Former Janata Party leader and current BJP MP Subramanian Swamy today said that the media, and people in general, are increasingly afraid to speak the truth in political matters, and said such unhealthy fear was a major factor that enabled the emergency 45 years ago. Swamy’s comments come in the context of the Indo-Chinese skirmish, […]

Center refuses to intervene in blocking of Andhra news channels

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar today refused to intervene in the alleged blocking of news channels critical of the state government of Andhra Pradesh. The unofficial ban on two news Telugu news channels — TV5 and ABN Andhra Jyothi — in the coastal state, allegedly for being critical of the YSRCP government — has […]

TV Journalists detained by Mangalore police

Journalists belonging to several Malayalam channels have been taken into custody in Mangalore by the police, according to reports by affected media outlets. According to these channels, their TV crews were reporting from Wenlock Hospital, where the bodies of the people killed in yesterday’s police shooting are kept, when a police team led by a […]

FIR against Kerala journalist after questions on CM flood relief fund utilization

A case has been filed by the Kerala Police against new media entrepreneur and journalist Shajan Skariah of MarunadanMalayali.com for ‘misleading essential services forces’ and ‘causing nuisance’ after he questioned the utilization of the funds collected in the aftermath of last year’s funds. Skariah had put up a video on Facebook and Youtube in which […]

Kerala to ban ‘non-mainstream’ superstitions

The ‘Law Reforms Commission’ set up by the Kerala government two years ago has come up with a draft anti-superstition bill that will target those superstitions that cause ‘bodily harm’ and are not part of an established religion. The draft was prepared on the request of the Kerala government. The draft law will target ‘freelance’ […]

Relief for social media users as SC orders Yogi govt to release journalist

The Supreme Court has ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to immediately release jailed journalist Prashant Kanojia. The state will be free to carry on a case against the journalist. Hearing a plea by wife Jagisha Arora to protect the journalist’s fundamental rights, a two-judge vacation bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Ajay Rastogi did […]

Delhi HC rejects plea to censor Game of Thrones, other web series

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition by a lawyer’s organization, Justice For Rights, seeking censoring of online content such as Game of Thrones, Spartacus, Vikings and Sacred Games. The petition, filed late last year, claimed that such videos constituted “unregulated, uncertified, sexually explicit, vulgar, profane, and legally restricted content”. The lawyers wanted the […]

High Court allows Cobrapost to publish video on Dainik Bhaskar

Delhi High Court has set apart a lower court decision that imposed a stay on the publication of a video by website Cobrapost that allegedly showed political bias among employees of Dainik Bhaskar group. DB Corp, the publisher of Dainik Bhaskar daily, won the injunction after arguing that the video was malafide and based on […]

Indian engineer sentenced to 5 years for blasphemy in Saudi Arabia

An engineer from Kerala working with a petroleum company in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to five years of imprisonment and a fine of around Rs 30 lakhs for his tweets. With this, Vishnudev, a native of Alleppey in Kerala, has become the first Indian to be punished under Saudi Arabia’s stricter anti-blasphemy laws that […]

India says WhatsApp giving ‘good response’ on monitoring proposal

Ravi Shankar Prasad, India’s minister for law and information technology, said the government has got ‘good response’ from WhatsApp for its proposal to install a monitoring mechanism on the platform. The government has been pushing WhatsApp to put up a monitoring mechanism that would send out alerts when messages on any one subject starts going […]

FULL TEXT: Assocham calls move to block FB, WhatsApp “excessive, unnecessary”

Assocham, one of India’s prominent associations of industries, has expressed concern at the government’s proposal to put in place a mechanism to block apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram. The government has, in a confidential letter sent to internet service providers, asked them to suggest ways in which such apps can be blocked at India’s […]

Bhima Jewellers pulls ads from Mathrubhumi over Meesa novel

Bhima Jewellers, one of the biggest gold retailing firms in Kerala, seems to have pulled its advertisements from Mathrubhumi due to ‘controversies’ over the printing of a novel by the publication group. “We give importance to public sentiments and wish to stay away from controversies of any kind. We have noted your concerns and have […]

Supreme Court refuses to ban novel ‘Meesha’, seeks translation

The Supreme Court has refused to stay the sale of ‘Meesa’ (The Moustache), a Malayalam novel that has been in the news for offending certain organisations in Kerala, pending further deliberations. Hearing a public interest litigation filed by Delhi-based Malayali N Radhakrishnan, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked for a translation of […]

Indian govt demands greater access from WhatsApp, Facebook & Twitter

India’s Information Technology Department today unveiled a new plan of action to combat fake news that would require foreign social media firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to establish offices in India and actively help in flagging and tracking down people who post troublesome messages online. Ravi Shankar Prasad also said WhatsApp, in particular, has […]

Facebook most prompt in blocking posts; Twitter, Instagram least

Facebook has emerged as the social media platform that has the highest degree of compliance with Government of India’s blocking requests, while Twitter and Instagram have the least. In all, the government issued blocking requests for 2,205 posts in 2017 and 2018 (up to June), out of which 74% were taken down by the concerned […]

Facebook rejects police request to block ‘drinker’s group’

Facebook has refused to block a ‘drinker’s group’ that the Kerala Police had requested to be taken down, according to local media reports. The social network reportedly told the police that the group was not in violation of its guidelines and cannot be taken down without proper justification. The Kerala Excise department is trying to […]

Kerala FB users face jail for ‘promoting drinking’ via photos & posts

Social media users posting in one of Kerala’s biggest Facebook Groups are facing the prospect of being sent to jail for ‘encouraging alcoholism’ by glamorizing drinking. Given there’s no law against glamorizing drinking, Kerala Excise Department is reported to have directed the police to use other laws — such as those against child abuse and […]