Friday, December 09, 2011

Safeguard Needed for Telecom and Online Content

In this article in Mediainfoworld Kapil Sibal vehemently states that he is not in favour of censoring internet content in India.

Then what is the hue and cry all about?

The problem is that on the net not even the service provider knows what contents are going online. Can Google monitor all the blogs, the social networking sites, the email groups, etc. Can it monitor the discussion groups where Indians and Pakistanis exchange the worst insults known to man in Hindi and Urdu? How can the service providers monitor these?

Can Facebook monitor the acreage of content that is already online? I do understand Sibal's angst about unwarranted content going online without any restrictions. There should be filters. But none of the biggies have any sort of customer redress system.

Why, even the telecom department that Sibal heads doesn't have a monitoring mechanism for the lack of customer support among service providers. Call any helpline of a telecom service provider and you are connected to an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that mechanically recite the company's ads and offers and do not give any proper response. Call any number and what you hear is, "To download this caller tune, dial 5."

This is an open letter I wrote to Murli Deora, Minister for Corporate Affairs, in this regard. Among other things I had suggested that all calls should have the option of "Dial 9 for live operator's assistance." Nothing happened.

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.

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