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Google Search Engine is Not Classified as Part of New IT Rules

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Google on Wednesday clarified that its Search engine is not classified to be part of the new IT intermediary guidelines 2021, urging the Delhi High Court to set aside an order that puts Google Search as part of the new IT rules.

The single judge order on April 20 came in a case where a woman’s images were uploaded on a pornographic website. Despite court orders, the objectionable content could not be removed in its entirety from the internet.

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A Google spokesperson told IANS that Search engines are a reflection of the content and information that is available on the internet.

“While we maintain a consistent policy over removal of objectionable content from search results, the Delhi High Court order has cast certain obligations that would wrongly classify Google search as a social media intermediary,” a Google spokesperson told IANS.

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“We’ve filed an appeal against this part of the order and look forward to explaining the steps we take to remove objectionable content from Google search results,” the company spokesperson added.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh has issued notice to the Union government, Delhi government, Facebook, the pornographic site and Internet Service Providers Association of India, seeking their responses to Google’s plea by July 25.

The Google spokesperson said that the “direction also requires proactively identifying and globally disabling access to any content which may be similar to the offending content, that may appear on any other websites/online platforms, or in any other context”.

The new rules notified in the Gazette of India on February 25 under the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code Rules, 2021, came into effect from May 26.

While Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Telegram, LinkedIn etc have either fully or partially complied with the new IT rules, Twitter has reiterated to compliance with the new IT intermediary guidelines in India as the Delhi High Court issued notice on a plea against the non-compliance by Twitter India and Twitter Inc.

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