India Government Asks ISPs To Block 32 Sites
The Indian government had asked the internet service providers and mobile operators to block the access to 32 sites in the name of censorship. The head of the Bharatiya Janata political party has claimed that the sites got listed because the ISIS content in them.
The familiar sites in the list include: GitHub, Vimeo, Archive.org, Imgur, Daily Motion and Pastebin. Pranesh Pakesh, a director at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore made the list public.
The websites have been blocked based on the recommendation by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS. According to officials, the sites which will cooperate with censorship laws and remove the ISIS content will get unblocked. Some of the internet providers have already taken action against certain websites included in the list.
There are reports in the media that it was not possible to access Pastebin, DailyMotion or GitHub using the 3G service from Vodafone, but it was possible to access the sites via the rival operator Airtel.
The Indian government has tried to censor the entertainment sites earlier also citing the that the sites had contents which is unsuitable for viewing in the country. Google was tried over the censorship matters in India and hence it is not surprising to see sites like Vimeo and daily motion in the hit list. The site GitHub has more than 8 million registered users worldwide and it will not be possible for the Indian users to access the site.
The content in one page of the site might have caused the government to take the decision to block the site but many think that the decision is inappropriate.
China last year blocked the code repository service, but after protests GitHub was made available. This site is very useful for tech companies and for any person who uses codes.GitHub is a company that offers code hosting services. It is a platform that allows the users to discuss and share codes with friends, classmates, co-workers and complete strangers, and to track and assign issues to other teammates.
The disruption caused by the blanket block on this service is expected to cause chaos in the tech industry in India. We can hope that government will change its decision about blocking the essential sites, once they understand the significance of the sites.
Blocking of the sites will be really embarrassing for the government after the PM called for the “Make In India” campaign, which was started to promote the companies those including the IT companies.