Google Being Sued Over Blogger’s Identity

An Indian construction company is trying to force Google to divulge the name of a blogger who wrote negative things about its business.

Gremach Infrastructure Equipments & Projects has filed a lawsuit against Google’s Indian arm, Google India, for hosting the writings on its public blog site, according to Indian news sites. Gremach says the blogs campaigned against its Africa-based mines and, it claims, constitute defamation. The blog was titled “Toxic Writer.”

Interestingly, reports indicate Gremach first went to the Mumbai Police to try to track down the blogger’s identity. Google India, however, refused to cooperate, the reports say — which is believed to have led to the new legal action.

Indian lawyers tell Silicon India that this is the first blogging platform-related lawsuit in the country’s history. It could, thereby, set a strong precedent for future protection, or lack thereof.

The case brings to mind the recent controversy over an American blog under fire for its critical remarks about the Memphis Police Department. The department subpoenaed AOL last month to try to get the identity of the person behind the MPD Enforcer 2.0 blog. That, in turn, sparked a free speech fight being spearheaded by the Public Citizen Litigation Group. That battle is still ongoing.

The Gremach lawsuit, incidentally, is the second India-based lawsuit announced against Google today. A doctor in India is also suing Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft over the so-called “sex selection” content displayed through their platforms. India does not permit services that let people influence the sex of their unborn children and the doctor wants the online content blocked.

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