Bloggers Blocked Across India – Update

This is a quick follow-up on this morning’s post on the same subject.

According to a report on NDTV 24X7, an Indian news channel, the Indian government’s clampdown on blogsites (and some websites) is NOT connected to the recent blasts in Mumbai, but is an effort to curb the propagation of religious extremism on the Net. If that’s true, the ban may not be lifted any time soon. The Indian government, however, has yet to issue an official statement on the subject.

If it’s not clear from what has been said so far, the Indian ban applies to ALL blogs from these sites, not just those originating in India: ALL blogspot, typepad, geocities blogs worldwide. If you have a blog from one of these providers anywhere in the world, I cannot read you.

It’s odd that we can still post to our own blogs, and read the blogs that we have had the foresight to subscribe to through RSS. These loopholes may be closed soon, if this is to be a long-term policy.

The list of blocked sites includes:


More to come when we know more to tell.

9 Comments so far

  1. Matt (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 1:58 am

    If that happened here (US) hell would break loose.

  2. nandhu (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 3:13 am

    all hell is breaking loose here too. just watch us.

  3. nandhu (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 3:18 am

    that is what the newyork times had to say.

  4. Ceebu (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 3:32 am

    This is just RIDICULOUS !!!

  5. nandhu (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 4:07 am

    the ban or the story?

  6. Pallab (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 9:08 am

    The government didnt ask the ISPs to ban the entire blogspot or geocities domain. Instead it gave them a list of sites to block. Its the stupid ISPs who blocked the entire domain.

  7. srini (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 11:03 am

    What has actually happened is that the govt has effectively advertised the very sites they want to censor. And yes, blocking just a list of sites make some sense. Blocking the entire domain is like bombing the entire city because somebody in some corner of the city has involved in anti-national activities.

  8. weatherall (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    I will be watching this situation with interest. I know from Google Analytics that people in India have been visiting my site on a regular basis. It’s not currently feasible for me to host this content with my own domain.

  9. Ravi (unregistered) on July 19th, 2006 @ 12:55 pm

    And we thought India was free
    Censorship has arrived with a bang to the net in India overnight.

    Through a communication, dated July 13, by the Dept. of Telecom (DOT) to ISPs, specific pages/ websites have been shut down, the ostensible reason being that terrorists were using blogs to communicate.

    The list is confidential. Indian ISPs have been slowly coming into compliance. SpectraNet, MTNL, Reliance, and as of Monday afternoon, Airtel. State-backed BSNL and VSNL have not started yet but likely will soon. And several ISPs have blocked all blogs because they were not equipped to filter specific pages.

    The most prominent blogs that have been blacked out are,,,,,,, and

    This is censorship at its most blatant form. And there is no oversight in the order following the Mumbai blasts. India which has been managing to maintain its ragtail economy is ignoring the deeper cause for the disaffection that is spreading fast and wide, viz., ignoring development.

    With over Rs 7.5 lakh crores sitting in banks awaiting investing opportunities, the Indian Government’s focus appears to have wandered afar. It is more eager to announce its intentions to become an unit of the MNC-led US coalition than help resurrect Nehru’s “Temples of India”, create jobs, provide social safety nets and uplift the poor and disenfranchised.

    This is a time when the net requires a Ramnath Goenka and more people to write about this outrage.

    And outrage it is. In an interview with the website boing boing, Dr Gulshan Rai, director of CERT-IN, the only body authorised to issue directives to ISPs said: “Somebody must have asked for some sites to be blocked. What is your problem?”

    Worse yet a blackout while denying a ban is mere semantics. And this seems to be the defense for this disgrace to democracy. And if India were to follow the US route and insist it is above the law, God alone can save us.

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