The activist groups are protesting working conditions at the Indian factory (for example, see "Make it clear that labour rights organisations will not be silenced - Support freedom of speech and freedom of association"). This and other web postings resulted in a defamation case brought against the activists by FFI in India.
Most recently, the Dutch jeans maker "G-Star" has announced it will terminate its contract with the Indian manufacturer (see "G-star ends jeans contract with Indian firm").
This case is a classic example of three important issues with technology and political issues:
- Where does free speech end and crime begin? What are the limits involving web postings, online communications and attempts by various interest groups in using technology to organize?
- The lack of any consistent international definitions of computer crime or tort and delict civil laws. What is a crime in one country may be a privileged right in another; and
- The power of (negative) press is often the most important aspect. In fact, one of the most attractive attribute of the Internet for activist groups is its power as a PR mechanism.
Indian court orders 'arrest without bail' of Dutch activists