Google offers fast track reporting to Indian police

Google has offered Indian police a special tool for priority reporting of objectionable material on its social networking site, Orkut.

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Google has offered Indian police a special tool for priority reporting of objectionable material on its social networking site, Orkut.

Google's Orkut social networking site has come in for criticism and even litigation from groups in India that object to its depiction of India and Indian historic figures. The site also has fan clubs of Indian gangsters, and Indian police said these could be used to find new recruits.

The reporting tool does not affect the way Google treats users' data, but only enables faster, direct communication, a spokeswoman for Google said on Tuesday.

The police will still be required to follow an appropriate legal process in order to get user-identifying information, she added.

Some Indian newspapers and a TV channel have quoted a police official in Mumbai saying that Orkut agreed to provide the police with the IP (Internet Protocol) address from which an objectionable message has been posted on the site and the Internet service provider involved.

The Google spokeswoman confirmed that the company's legal team met with police from various states in India, but said there was no question of Google sharing IP addresses with the Indian police without the appropriate legal process being followed.

The process for reporting objectionable material on Orkut remains the same, as do Google's own procedures for deciding whether or not to remove the material from the site, she added.

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