India court accuses Google's Orkut of spreading hatred

The Times of India is reporting that a court there is accusing Google's Orkut social networking service of spreading hatred about India over a member's posting.

"The Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to issue notice to Google for the alleged spread of hatred about India by its social network service 'Orkut,'" the article says. "A picture of burning the national tricolour, bearing anti-India message, has been put on and a community 'We Hate India' has been created on the site, the petition said."

Google had not received a court order or notice, but was taking the matter seriously, Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost said.

"Problems such as this are complicated, however, because we have to be careful not to affect users around the world by making changes to a global product based on the law in one country," she wrote in an e-mail. "There may be future instances, for example, when we will want to avoid making changes that would affect Indian users based on the laws in a different country. The Internet is an international phenomenon and while technology can bring great opportunity and access to information globally, it can also present unique challenges for complying with differing laws around the world."

"We respect the authorities in India and are committed to working with them to resolve this," she wrote. "We should also note that this product is operated from within the United States and complies with the laws of the United States."

Google also has run into legal problems with the social networking site , where most of its members are located.

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