Search engines Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing have introduced an "auto block" system to bar content on sex determination from being shared online, the central government informed the Supreme Court on Monday. The companies said anyone running a search for the 22 keywords they had identified, including "sex determination", will not find any information online. In addition to these 22 words, others will also be embedded in the auto block system, NDTV reported.
These keywords had been suggested by petitioner Sabu Mathew George – a member of the National Inspection and Monitoring Committee – who had filed a public interest litigation seeking court intervention in the matter. George had asked the government to take action against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo for hosting advertisements of tools, kits and clinics to help determine the sex of a foetus. Prenatal sex determination is illegal in India under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act.
The Supreme Court had earlier directed the Centre to immediately frame a memorandum on Google, Bing and Yahoo showing content on sex determination on its websites. "Google, Microsoft, Yahoo can't continue doing the illegal activity in the name of being an intermediary," the court had observed. It had directed the government to meet with representatives of the three companies.