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Caught in the Net: Google

When Google recently handed over the identity of 22-year-old Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid to Indian authorities, the company said it was complying with the "valid legal process" of a democracy. But some Net-freedom advocates disagree. That’s because Vaid’s arrest — for posting comments to the "I hate Sonia Gandhi" group on Google’s Orkut social networking site ...

When Google recently handed over the identity of 22-year-old Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid to Indian authorities, the company said it was complying with the "valid legal process" of a democracy. But some Net-freedom advocates disagree. That’s because Vaid’s arrest — for posting comments to the "I hate Sonia Gandhi" group on Google’s Orkut social networking site — appears to be politically motivated. Friends of Gandhi, president of the Indian National Congress party, claim Vaid’s comments were vulgar, and online speech is protected in India only if it is civil. Google has delayed releasing products such as Gmail in China for fear that its "do no evil" policy could be compromised. Seems that policy is no longer safe in democracies, either.

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