US Officials Rebuke India’s Request to Summon Facebook, Google

The reply comes as a response to India’s request to the US to help serve papers to 11 Internet Companies as they were accused of hosting content on their sites that was meant to fuel communal hatred and violence.

A case was filed back in December 2011 by Vinay Ray, a journalist, stating that Internet Companies should be held responsible for hosting content that instigates communal hatred and their executives should be prosecuted. At the start of this year the court issued fresh summons and asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure proper delivery of the papers.

The US authorities said in response that there are limitations when it comes to protection on free speech – when the speech comprises of a true threat or provokes imminent violence. The authorities stressed that in this particular case there is not sufficient evidence of either of these. The case is scheduled for a hearing in Delhi on May 21.

Despite this relief, both Google and Facebook have other legal hurdles to overcome. Google has been alleged to have violated Indian cartographical laws because of its Mapathon event in India and may see court time. Facebook on the other hand is facing legal troubles for allowing minors to register on Facebook. Delhi High Court is currently awaiting an explanation from the government as to why are minors are allowed to enter contracts with social network.