The Centre today told the Supreme Court that absence of any regulatory mechanism in the cyber world demands higher level of restrictions to put checks and balances on social networking sites.
"It is institutions which are working in other media whether it is paper, television or cinema. There is an institutional approach and there are checks like pre- censorship for TV and films. But in Internet there is individual approach and there are no checks and balances or licence,"
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before a bench of justices J Chelameswar and Rohinton Fali Nariman.
He said though it is not possible to regulate Internet, the legislature should be given leeway for framing rules in the absence of institutional control over the medium of Internet where an individual is a boss himself.
"Considering the reach and impact of medium, leeway be given to legislature to frame rules. On Internet every individual is a director, producer and broadcaster and a person can send offensive material to millions of people in nano second just with a click of button," he said.
The submission was made during the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging constitutional validity of several provisions of the Act.
Some of the petitions seek setting aside of section 66A of the Information Technology Act which empowers police to arrest a person for allegedly posting offensive materials on social networking sites.
The petitions primarily came in the backdrop of the arrest of two Maharashtra girls for making comments on the shutdown of Mumbai for the funeral of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.