Indian government sanctions prosecution of Google, Facebook


India’s communications ministry Friday sanctioned the prosecution of Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Facebook as well as 17 other companies over a complaint that their websites carry “unacceptable” content that could incite communal violence.

The clearance paved the way for an Indian court, which ordered top executives of these companies to appear before it on March 13, to expand the case to cover charges such as inciting enmity among different groups and deliberate and malicious acts intended to upset religious feelings. Such charges need the federal government’s clearance for a court to proceed with the trial.

The court order follows a complaint from an individual, Vinay Rai, who wants the companies to be prosecuted for alleged offenses such as criminal conspiracy, defamation, promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion and race, and obscene content. More:

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