On Sunday, a large contingent of young Bangaloreans gathered at the Town Hall to protest against the “draconian IT laws” that are being used as a tool by politicians and the government to stifle dissent.

In the past few months, the debate over the use of Section 66A of the IT Act, particularly the 2008 amendments, has gathered momentum. The young Bangaloreans said that they were reacting to the recent incident where two young girls were arrested by the Mumbai police for an innocuous comment on Facebook.

The protest was organised by the Free Software Movement Karnataka (FSMK), which has campaigned against this law, and against “unfair blocking of content by private internet providers”.

“We want the government to revisit the entire IT Act,” said H.S. Jaykumar, General Secretary, FSMK.

Though it was decided at the Cyber Advisory Regulatory Committee meeting that the police can use this law only with the permission of the Inspector-General of Police and those ranked above him, the protesters felt that this announcement was simply eyewash.

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