Indian Computer Emergency Response Team blocks 32 website

On Wednesday, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team issued the ban, asking internet service providers and mobile operators to block access to dozens of popular websites in the name of its censorship laws, according to a government advisory made public by Pranesh Prakash, director of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore.

As many as 32 websites including GitHub, PasteBin, Vimeo, Imgur, DailyMotion, Internet Archive have reportedly been banned in India under an order from the Department of Telecom (DoT).
Vodafone, the second largest mobile network operator in India (after Airtel) with an estimated 173 million customers and BSNL, Indian state-owned telecom operator with 117 million customers, have already blocked access to the above mentioned websites. However, other telecom operators and ISPs are still providing access to those websites.

Now this is really insane. On one side, where the Indian government talk about Internet freedom in the country and on the other side, the government is blocking access to sites like Github, which has over 8 million registered users worldwide.
I have no idea that how could github website spread inflammatory content among Indians, which actually used to store source code from over 8 Million users. OK, let us agree that it actually hosting something unusual against the nation’s interest. But, even if a single page was found guilty, the blockage of the entire website seems a totally nonsensical decision.
The notice sent to all Internet Service Licensees mentions the Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, which states "Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource." Based on which the DoT have decided to immediately block the access to 32 websites.

Prakash posted a copy of the notice listing the 32 blocked URLs. The URLs listed include: (gist-it) (Tinypaste)

 Arvind Gupta, national head of BJP4's IT Cell, on Twitter said that the websites have been blocked due to security reasons.

"The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS," he said. "The sites that have removed objectionable content and/or cooperated with the on going investigations, are being unblocked."

While it is possible that security reasons led to blocking of websites, it doesn't explain why popular sites like Vimeo and Github, which hosts computer code and is used by thousands of developers and technology companies, are blocked. Also, it doesn't explain why websites like Twitter and Facebook, where ISIS routinely posts content, are not blocked.

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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