Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Why Google News Items Are Disappearing From Its News Database?

V K Singh

At times you may feel frustrated by the fact that your article or news appearing at the Google news database or search engine disappears without any reason. You may consider it as a technical glitch or attribute the same as some mistake at your part that forced the Google to remove the contents.

But what if this becomes a routine activity that also regarding only those news or search results that are deemed to be controversial by the government? Obviously, this is a deliberate and systematic act on the part of the search engine and government of a nation where that search/news database is operating.

Many of our articles and news are systematically removed from time to time by Google India. Initially we thought it to be a technical glitch. However, when the frequency of this exercise increased and many of our news and articles disappeared without any reason or cause, we were forced to write up this piece of our apprehension. It may be right or it may be wrong, you decide the same and enlighten us. We are keeping open this article for public comments subject to moderation.

The latest to face censorship at the hands of Google is our article regarding civil liberty violations by Indian government through projects like Aadhar/UID Project, Natgrid, CCTNS, etc. These projects are not supported by any law and they are also violative of right to privacy and other constitutional rights of Indians.

The government of India gained draconian, unconstitutional and illegal e-surveillance, Internet censorship, website blocking and many such Orwellian powers through the information technology amendment act, 2008 (IT Act 2008). The IT Act 2008 amended the sole cyber law of India i.e. information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) and conferred unregulated and unreasonable e-surveillance and censorship powers upon Indian government and its agencies. Till now the Indian government has not prescribed procedural safeguards and guidelines subject to which these Orwellian powers can be exercised. As a result the government is using these powers without any accountability and transparency.

Obviously, all tech companies and search engines must also comply with the official as well as unofficial, legal as well as illegal demands of Indian government and its agencies. It seems Google India is doing just the same.

Now since the words and deeds are out an explanation from Google India in this regard would be appreciated. We may be wrong in our analysis but then we cannot be wrong on all the occasions.

We would also keep on posting about any such incidence in future when we face similar problem from any tech company or search engine.