Internet governance is an oxymoron: Kapil Sibal
| by Anuradha Shetty |
While addressing a gathering in New Delhi, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal stressed that the Internet is necessary for India, as for the first time it gives an opportunity to the voiceless in the country to be heard. Sibal was one of the speakers at the Google Big Tent Summit in the national capital, wherein he spoke extensively on Internet Freedom.
Sibal added that just as the Internet is necessary for India, India too is necessary for the Internet. He explained, “We are 1.2 billion people. You will not be able to get a more dynamic market than that which is available in India. We are already the third-largest players on the Internet with a 150 million people. “ He added that the constraints of technology have in fact come in the way of that number exceeding 150 million.
Speaking on the topic of Internet governance, Sibal reiterated that to him Internet governance is an oxymoron. He stressed on the fact that it iss not possible to govern someone on the Internet, and that the Internet should govern itself.
Was at the Google Big Tent Summit
In the course of his speech, Sibal said that the government should be sensitive to the voices on the Internet.
Sibal spoke similarly at the a high-level ministerial meeting at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku, Azerbaijan. At the time, he said that the term Internet cannot co-exist with governance. He was quoted as saying, “‘Internet Governance’ is an oxymoron. Internet, by its very nature, can not coexist with the concept of ‘governance’, which relates to a system designed for dealing with the issues of the physical world. The term ‘Governance’, immediately invokes concepts of those who govern and those who are governed, which have no relevance in cyber-space.”
As per Google's latest Transparency report, India made an average of 13 requests a day to Google for access to personal details of web users during 2012.
In terms of the number of requests for web users details last year, India is next only to the US, which made 45 requests a day on an average — the highest for any country. The US made a total of 16,407 such requests to Google during 2012, followed by India’s 4,750, France’s 3,239, Germany’s 3,083, UK’s 2,883 and Brazil’s 2,777 in the top five.
The number of requests from all these countries rose last year in comparison to 2011, while the worldwide total also rose by 20 percent in 2012 to 42,327, as per Google’s latest Transparency Report. The number of such requests from India also rose by about 20 percent from 3,946 in 2011.
Google provided part or full information to the enforcement agencies from India for about two-third of the total requests received by it during 2012. The compliance rate was much higher at 88 percent for requests received from the US. Google publishes data for requests about user details as well as for removal of content on its various platforms, including Search, Images and YouTube, on a six-month basis.
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