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Defender of your Digital Freedom

The right to freedom of speech and expression is considered a cornerstone of democracy. This right is formally guaranteed by the Constitution of India, and is also recognized under such international documents as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. The Internet is a key enabler of the right to free speech, as it facilitates instant and inexpensive exchange of information across borders, and enables users to actively publish in addition to passively receive information. Online speech platforms including but not limited to blogs, discussion forums and social media play host to truly important public discourses, and permit individuals to freely express opinions and convictions without fear of repercussions in even the most repressive of regimes. We at SFLC.in consider it part of our mission to safeguard this sacrosanct right in the digital space, and to make sure that the Internet remains a bastion of free speech where users are able to express themselves with minimal restrictions.

Posts

SC judgment – Safeguards for shutdown, limited relief for Kashmir

SC judgment – Safeguards for shutdown, limited relief for Kashmir The Supreme Court pronounced judgment in Anuradha Bhasin v UoI [WP(C) 1031/2019] and Gulam Nabi Azad v UoI [WP(C) 1164/2019] on January 10, 2020. The judgment has laid down the law on the issue of Internet shutdowns. Case in brief: Mobile and broadband Internet services […]

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Our Statement on Delhi High Court’s Dismissal of the Public Interest Litigation Challenging Internet Shutdown in Delhi

Our Statement on Delhi High Court’s Dismissal of the Public Interest Litigation Challenging Internet Shutdown in Delhi On 24.12.2019, the Delhi High Court refused to exercise its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in passing any order while dismissing the petition filed by SFLC.IN in public interest challenging the Internet shutdown order […]

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Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India

Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India SFLC.IN is releasing a report on Intermediary Liability titled “Future of Intermediary Liability in India” on January 17, 2020 at the India Islamic Cultural Center. The event will be inaugurated by Mr. Rajeev Gowda Hon’ble Member of Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India and followed by a […]

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A Detailed Analysis of the Swami Ramdev v. Facebook Judgment

Statement: At SFLC.in we believe that ordering intermediary platforms to take down content globally, negatively impacts freedom of expression online, as different countries have different standards of speech. Such orders often require intermediary platforms to rely on automated filters and scan each uploaded content to check for its legality, which severely undermines the privacy of […]

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Our Statement on the WhatsApp Surveillance Issue

Our Statement on the WhatsApp Surveillance Issue The use of sophisticated surveillance technology by governments violates basic human rights of privacy and free speech on the Internet. Vulnerable groups including journalists, minorities and lawyers rely on end-to-end encryption technology, like the one offered by WhatsApp, to remain secure online. Targeting journalists, academics and civil society […]

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Del. HC Orders for Global Take Down of Content

Delhi High Court Approves Take Down of Content Globally Asks Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter to remove defamatory content from their global services Statement: At SFLC.in we believe that ordering intermediary platforms to take down content globally negatively impacts freedom of expression online, as different countries have different standards of speech. Such orders, require intermediary […]

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CJEU rules that search engines cannot be asked to de-list information globally under EU right to be forgotten requests

CJEU rules that search engines cannot be asked to de-list information globally under EU right to be forgotten requests On September 24, 2019, Europe’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) held that search engines who’ve been requested for de-referencing links under the right to be forgotten (after an order from […]

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Any regulation of online speech in India must safeguard the rights to free speech and privacy

Unlike the US, free speech in India is not absolute. Our Constitution, while guaranteeing the freedom of speech and expression, places “reasonable restrictions” on this basic human right. Before 2015, online and offline speech were treated on different pedestals under law. As per Section 66A, an infamous provision of India’s Information Technology Act, 2000, anyone […]

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Google v. Visakha: Final Arguments

In 2009, Visakha Industries, a construction company involved in the manufacturing of asbestos cement sheets, filed a criminal defamation case against Ban Asbestos Network India (BANI), its coordinator and Google India. It alleged that the coordinator of BANI had written blog posts on a website owned by BANI, that contained scathing criticism of the company […]

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Submission on Surveillance Industry and Human Rights to the UN Special Rapporteur

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression had invited comments on the surveillance industry and human rights. In 1993 the United Nations Commission on Human Rights established the mandate of the Special Rapporteur that included gathering information on violations, responding to credible information, making recommendations […]

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SFLC.in Shortlised for 2019 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards

SFLC.in has been nominated for 2019 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards. In total, 16 nominees were selected from over 400 crowdsourced nominations. The awards are given in four categories: Arts, Campaigning, Digital Activism and Journalism. The awards seek to honour individuals or organisations who have had a ‘demonstrable impact in tackling censorship’. Many […]

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Read me not: List of banned books in India

Over the years India has seen various books being banned for several reasons, ranging from defamation to offending religious sentiments of a community. The law commonly used to ban books/ prevent sale and production of certain books is Section 95 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which confers powers on the State Government to […]

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Events

Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India

Report Launch: The Future of Intermediary Liability in India SFLC.IN is releasing a report on Intermediary Liability titled “Future of Intermediary Liability in India” on January 17, 2020 at the India Islamic Cultural Center. The event will be inaugurated by Mr. Rajeev Gowda Hon’ble Member of Rajya Sabha, Parliament of India and followed by a […]

Online Harassment: A Form of Censorship – Release of Report and Panel Discussion

SFLC.in is pleased to announce the release our report titled “Online Harassment: A Form of Censorship” on November 22, 2016 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Lecture Hall 1, India International Centre (Annexe), New Delhi, at an event we are organizing in association with the Digital Empowerment Foundation, Internet Democracy Project, IT for Change, […]