Facing accusations of hosting objectionable content on its sites, Google Inc. today told a Delhi court that the attempts to impose a complete ban or monitoring of online content will breach fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed by the country's constitution.
"Its mission is to organise the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Most services offered by it are premised on sharing of information and knowledge without the exercise of any editorial control or of monitoring by it,” Google is quoted as saying. Google and 21 other Internet companies are facing civil lawsuit over hosting offensive content on their websites. The Internet company also filed written statements on behalf of its Orkut and YouTube. Speaking of Orkut, YouTube, Blogspot and Blogger, the company said that these online platforms sites provide platforms to the public for exchanging ideas and ensure smooth flow of information.
Google's comments come days after it removed the offensive content from their sites. The court had in one of its previous hearings had asked the counsel appearing for petitioner Mufti Aijaz Arshad Qasmi whether blog-service providing companies should also be made a party to the case for posting offensive content posted by their users on the blogs.
The web censorship row came to light December last year after the court issued summons to the Internet companies over the “anti-religious” or “anti-social” content. The government previously has made various attempts to control Internet content.