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India Blocks Access Major Blog Sites

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-07-17

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The Indian government was accused of censorship after the Department of Telecommunications was found to have given directives to regional Internet service providers to block access to blogspot.com, typepad.com and geocities.

Over the weekend, the blogosphere lit up with reports that access to these sites had been blocked. As bloggers busied themselves trying to find the reason, update upon update revealed that ISP call center representatives were instructed by the DOT to block access to the sites, but did not offer a reason why.

It didn't take long bloggers using other platforms to publish their theories and some clever workarounds to be able access those sites again. Not until Monday was there any more light shed on the matter.

According to a blog called "The Great Indian Mutiny," reported that the block was associated with terror plots inside the country:

Two sources, one inside the Government of India and the other kind of inside/outside have confirmed to the Mutiny, that ISPs are being instructed to ‘control' access to blogspot. It seems that some blogs are being used by some terror units (read SIMI) to communicate.

There is a crack down in place. IP numbers are being physically located and identified. All should come back to normal once this operation is over. There is no ban in place. Livejournal and Wordpress have been spared. No reason given.

The block occurs very soon after a series of attacks on suburban trains in Mumbai, carried about radical Islamist groups. Only the Indian government knows the reasoning behind the measures. It seems blocking the websites would derail intelligence gathering and tip off the cells in question.


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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