Much of the Indian population is waking on this New Year morning to find its Internet access now filtered by the government. The powers that be have decide to start blocking access to a varied list of websites in its bid to counter terrorist movements.
In a bold move, allegedly to stop the spread of Isis supporting material, India has blocked some pretty huge web sites. Taking the decision to start blocking Pastebin, Vimeo and development website Github amongst others. According to the times of India, the action taken by service providers is after direct instruction from the Indian Department of Telecom.
Leaked documents, dated December 17th, have been doing the rounds on social media. This document (shown below) of unspecified origin highlights the full list of websites believed to be blocked. It does not however explain why other than section 69a of the Information Technology Act.
It is also unclear how much Isis related material has been discovered on the sites in question, but it is understood that the blocks are being rescinded after offending material has been removed. Some sites such as Pastebin have been aware of the block since December 19th.
Tweets have come in thick and fast from numerous sources, with Arvind Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party highlighting the block because they contained “Anti India content from ISIS”.
The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS. 1/2
— Arvind Gupta (@buzzindelhi) December 31, 2014
Going on to highlight a few hours ago that blocks have started to be removed from some sites.
What is for sure is it won’t be the last time we see governments blocking access to sites they take a disliking to. Where does this road lead to? Blocking of anything that conflicts with the government’s prevailing opinion, or a helpful tool in the fight against terrorism? Let us know your thoughts on social networks or in the comments below.