The government is against controlling or governing the Internet but want a consensus among stakeholders to deal with issues that may arise in future, Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday said.
“There should be no formal government interference in the dissemination of information through a medium which is perhaps quintessential representative of democracy... What we want is consensus and not a decision. Consensus which will then formalised through which we can deal in future,” Mr. Sibal said.
The Minister said that some aspects of the Internet are completely protected by freedom of speech but some aspects of it may not be protected by free speech.
He said that with time the nature of governance is changing in the same manner definition of freedom is evolving.
Mr. Sibal also expressed reservations on the title of the event, ‘India Internet Governance Conference’, where he was speaking.
“Quite frankly, I don’t like the word governance. You are having curtain raiser on India Internet Governance conference.
I think we are starting on wrong foot,” Mr. Sibal said.
He said that as India empowers its democracy further, the country will fully embrace Internet.
“Like any other technology any technology that is in human hand can also be misused. The problem here is do we need governance structure in order to deal with that problem or do we need an evolving structure which builds consensus to be able to deal with that issue,” Mr. Sibal said.
The Minister reiterated that he and government would neither want a governance structure nor control over the Internet.
“We need modicum of consensus but that consensus should evolve with honest open discussion with all the key stakeholders. This is the way we will go forward but what we want is consensus and not a decision. Consensus which will then formalised through which we can deal with in future,” he said.