In China, government censorship to curb reporting of a July 23 train crash that killed at least 40 people has drawn the anger of Internet users who demand unfettered news in the nation.
In both countries, the fierce reaction by Webizens has prevented governments from being as effective in controlling the flow of information on Internet as they’d like to be.
The Indian government announced that the new Internet rules — which include regulations on sites and service providers hosting information that could be regarded “harmful,” “blasphemous” or “insulting” to any other nation — will maintain a balance between Internet freedom and security.
But the very vocal critics say the rules are too open-ended and give far too much power to the government.
Sachin Pilot, deputy minister for communication and information technology, has relented to critics, saying the government would be willing to listen to dissenting views and could consider changes.
In China, a similar battle is being waged, after many Chinese newspapers defied the government by reporting aggressively on the high-speed train crash in July.
After censors stepped up demands for the coverage to stop, users of the Chinese version of Twiter, Weibo, posted messages denouncing the clampdown.
One comment on Weibo: “Why have the people been robbed of the right to know? How long do they want to hide. ... We won't accept being treated like idiots.”
While popular newspapers had mostly switched to more upbeat reporting by Monday, the furious anti-government backlash continued online, and some said it was undermining the efforts of government censors.
Lu Yuegang, a former investigative reporter for the Party-run China Youth Daily, told Reuters, “These days, efforts to seal off the flow of opinion can't work like it did before.”