e-Governance

DoT orders ISPs to block few bloggings

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In India, millions of domestic Internet users cannot access some of the world's most popular blogs like geocities.com, blogspot.com and typepad.com, as the government has ordered a blackout of around 18 sites for publishing content that are 'anti-national' and 'against public interest'.

 

Over 25 percent of India's 38 million Internet users are active bloggers. Currently, there are over 120 million bloggers worldwide and multiplying at the rate of about 10 million per month. The number is expected to cross 160 million in 2006. Internet Service providers (ISPs) are believed to have been asked to block sites like bloodspot.com, hinduhumanrights.org, hinduuni-ty.org and clickatell.com, besides frontline blogs like the Google-owned blogsp-ot.com. Deepak Maheshwari, secretary of ISP Association of India stated that they have received a letter from Department of Telecom (DoT), asking them to block around 18 URLs. Though the communication, dated July 13, by the telcom department to ISPs lists specific pages/ websites, several ISPs have blocked all blogs because they are not equipped to filter specific pages. Reliance is the first to restrict access to these sites. Other ISPs including Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (which have the largest number of Internet subscribers) are also following the suit. The move has invited a strong reaction from the online community with a number of posts springing up all over the Internet.

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