Multiple reports are coming in about an extremely unusual bout of Internet censoring in India. Sites like GitHub, Vimeo, DailyMotion, Pastebin etc have been blocked by various ISPs across India on the orders of Modi-led Government.
In this bizarre Internet censorship of Indian govt., DoT (Department of Telecom) has issued a notice to various Internet Service Providers in India to block a total of 32 miscellaneous websites in their network. The notice doesn’t state the reason for this move.
— Pranesh Prakash (@pranesh_prakash) December 31, 2014
The above tweet was made public by Pranesh Pakesh, a director at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore.
In a recent update about blocking these 32 website in India, The head of the Bharatiya Janata political party has claimed that the sites were listed because they content from ISIS.
Gupta added that those sites which cooperate and remove the suspected ISIS content will be unblocked. Nonetheless, looking in from the outside, it certainly seems like the issue could have been handled in a clearer way that didn’t involved issuing blanket censorship blocks.
Most of the websites in blocking provided by govt. like GitHub, Archive.org are as harmless as PMO India’s own website and people are still wandering about the reason for this kind of bizarre censorship. Notably, Github is a site that is used by every 2nd software engineer in the world and consider as back-bone of tech-startups of India.
Github, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Archive.org are used by millions across India and have nothing to do with such malpractices and the censorship of these sites is extremely surprising. While Github is ranked 101 in the word among millions of sites worldwide, Vimeo is ranked 119.
Ironically, Indian govt. in November’14 announced that it is planning to create Github like repository of software that can be created collaboratively and most recently appointed Slideshare co-founder Amit Ranjan to head this open source project. And now this move of government is opposing its own ideas.
Lets hope that Modi-led NDA Government realizes their blunder and works on revoking the censorship as soon as possible.