New Delhi: Industry body Assocham on Wednesday said any attempt to "over-regulate" social media would have a "prejudicial impact upon the freedom of speech and expression" of netizens.

The comments come against the backdrop of government's proposal to monitor content on the Internet, especially on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Assocham has cautioned the government against over regulating social media as there is already cyber laws in place to deal with defamatory content.

"Any attempts ... to over-regulate would directly tantamount to having a prejudicial impact upon the freedom of speech and expression of netizen community and are further likely to impact the usage of social media by lay users," the industry body said in a statement.

Assocham noted that any attempts to over regulate
Internet through any means including censorship is likely to not only raising various legal challenges but would further result in far vociferous opposition to the same.

"The hectic activity that has been seen after the statement of the Honourable (Telecom) Minister (Kapil Sibal), on the social media networks and the Internet, is an indication in that regard," it added.

(Agencies)