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The Regulation of the Internet With Relation to Speech and Expression by the Indian State

66 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2008  

Raman Chima

National Law School of India University

Date Written: April 25, 2008


This paper examines how the Indian State regulates the Internet and the relation this has to the limitations imposed on the State's actions vis-a-vis the rights provided by the Indian constitution protecting speech and expression as well as privacy. Building upon contemporary technology law writings, it argues that not only is the Internet 'regulable' by nation states, it is in fact more and more being regulated even by liberal democratic nation states which have constitutional limitations on the powers of their governments to direct and enforce such restrictions. The Indian situation has demonstrated the increasing engagement of the State with issues concerning Internet surveillance and regulation but with comparatively poor documentation of the same. This has been in addition to a glaring lack of informed debate concerning civil liberties and constitutional values with respect to Internet regulation in India. This paper tracks the Internet regulatory regime in India and argues that it takes place largely by means of executive actions lacking legislative sanction, and hence are arguably unconstitutional in many parts with respect to past and ongoing actions undertaken by State agencies.

Keywords: Internet Regulation, Censorship, Surveillance, India, Technology Law, Civil Liberties

Suggested Citation

Chima, Raman, The Regulation of the Internet With Relation to Speech and Expression by the Indian State (April 25, 2008). Available at SSRN: or

Raman Chima (Contact Author)

National Law School of India University ( email )

Bangalore, KS Karnataka 560072

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