'Supreme Court's Section 66A Verdict a Victory for 300 Million Internet Users'

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'Supreme Court's Section 66A Verdict a Victory for 300 Million Internet Users'

The Supreme Court judgement rendering a provision of the IT Act as unconstitutional is a momentous victory for more than 300 million Net users in the country, Internet and Mobile Association of India said on Tuesday .

In a landmark judgement upholding freedom of expression, the apex court today struck down a provision (Section 66A) in the cyber law which provides power to arrest a person for posting allegedly "offensive" content on websites.

"Internet users will be able to use online services without fear of illegal censorship or harassment, and online businesses, ranging from established international companies to small Indian startups, will be able to take advantage of a more conducive business environment," IAMAI President Subho Ray said in a statement.

The Supreme Court's move to improvise another section 79(3)(b) of the act, which involves companies providing platform for publishing or transmitting message, will relieve IT companies from frivolous notices, he said.

(Also See: Twitter Will Defend User Voices: CEO Costolo on Section 66A Verdict)

"This landmark judgement strengthens the safe harbor provisions for Intermediaries contained in the Section 79 of the Information Technology Act. It is specially helpful to smaller companies like Mouthshut.com who will now not be harassed by the frivolous and mal-intentioned notices of the take down," Ray said.

Internet and social media companies are often served with notice to block websites or pages carrying content that has offended petitioner.

IAMAI said in the changed version of section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act taking down of content or IT resource will be only possible under a court order or a government order.

"Both the judgements together will ensure Internet freedom for users and freedom of doing business on part of Intermediaries; thereby ensuring more innovation and investments in the Indian Internet sector," Ray said.

Written with agency inputs.

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