December 23, 2004

MMS

I have refrained myself as much as I could from writing about this fiasco. I just kept hoping that all this nonsense would end. But there seems no hope for that. I’ve even heard that the proposed topic for debate at my college fest is MMS or something on camera phones.

I think that by now every one’s heard about the case at least. Two teenagers filmed an so called “obscene act” using a camera phone. The clip somehow spread, and a student from IIT K. posted a VCD for sale on Baazee. When people became aware of the nature of the clip, the item was pulled from the auction. So far, so good.

What I don’t understand is that the police arrested the CEO of Baazee for this matter. I did some googling around, and found out that under our far-reaching IT Act (which seems to cover everything from computers to cell phones to calculators), service providers are responsible for the content their users store. That is, the auction site is responsible for what is bought or sold there, a message board is responsible for the contents of the message, a mail provider is responsible for the content’s of the user’s mails, and so on.

This is just plain stupid. You don’t hold telephone companies responsible for what people talk (at least I should think not). I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but I would expect that people are held responsible on the way they use the resources provided to them.

Don’t expect me to put forth some points for consideration, or anything of a legal or technical nature. I’m only speaking from common sense here.

Anyway, here’s a news article about the way our esteemed Policemen handle technology.

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