Tag Archives: Internet Censorship in India

Why is the Indian media building a case for internet censorship rather than against it?

Hundreds of webpages now stand blocked in India, the government has openly been appealing to internet companies to pre- or post-screen content and remove what the government wants it to remove. One Google Transparency Report after another has been revealing how the number one target of the government is criticism of politicians and government. Just imagine what would the Indian media’s response to such censorship have been like had it been hundreds of books or articles we were talking about? Instead of asking Facebook to ‘pre-screen’ our posts, had Kapil Sibal been asking for someone to pre-screen articles in the newspapers, would it not be like the Emergency?

Okay, point taken. Let us not trivialise the Emergency, which entailed jailing of dissidents and forced sterilisation and so on. But still, there’s so much internet censorship in India now that it is surprising that instead of outrage you find the Indian media actually building the case for censorship. What about hate speech, they ask. What about the trolls, Why is there so much abuse on the internet? Continue reading Why is the Indian media building a case for internet censorship rather than against it?

Full text: The Indian government’s recent orders to Internet Service Providers to block websites, webpages and Twitter accounts

Joji Thomas Philip has put out these documents in The Economic Times.

18 August:

19 August: Continue reading Full text: The Indian government’s recent orders to Internet Service Providers to block websites, webpages and Twitter accounts

An Analysis of the Latest Round of Internet Censorship in India (Communalism and Rioting Edition): Pranesh Prakash

Guest post by PRANESH PRAKASH

How many items have been blocked?

There are a total of 309 specific items (those being URLs, Twitter accounts, img tags, blog posts, blogs, and a handful of websites) that have been blocked. This number is meaningless at one level, given that it doesn’t differentiate between the blocking of an entire website (with dozens or hundreds of web pages) from the blocking of a single webpage. However, given that very few websites have been blocked at the domain-level, that number is still reasonably useful. Continue reading An Analysis of the Latest Round of Internet Censorship in India (Communalism and Rioting Edition): Pranesh Prakash

Open Letter from Anonymous to the Government of India

Dear Government of India,

We are Anonymous. It has come to our attention that you have blocked filesharing websites in India. We also know you are in the process of making a Great Indian Firewall, to censor the internet in India. Anonymous believes, however, that pursuing this direction is a sad mistake on your behalf. Not only does it reveal the fact that you do not seem to understand the present-day political and technological reality, we also take this as a serious declaration of war from yourself, the Indian government, to us, Anonymous, the people. Continue reading Open Letter from Anonymous to the Government of India

“The more they censor the internet the bigger we become” – An interview of Anonymous India

In which I interview “Anonymous India” who have organised a massive protest against internet censorship across 11 Indian cities on 9 June.

Some say such attacks (hacking and defacement of Web sites) could be used by the political class to actually strengthen their argument in favour of control and regulation of the Internet. What do you say to that?

Anamikanon: People on the ground are vulnerable to people with a lot of power and no problems misusing it. Anonymous can’t be found to defame, threaten, suppress, stall…. wrong means? Ok. Worth it.

Netcak3: I say the more they censor the Internet, the bigger we become. We strive in users from across the world. Pro tip: Once an idea has been made, you cannot kill it.

Anamikanon: In my view, these are the means that can be safely used without risking life, limb, careers, reputations, family…

Gummy: Defacing is like posting a nill which is illegal and can be removed. Like people post their advertisement bill (poster) at the back of buses and other public places.

Anamikanon: Except we post it in inside their drawing rooms! [Read the full interview.]

Net Loss: Sajan Venniyoor

Guest post by SAJAN VENNIYOOR

Image via dailygalaxy.com

Net: noun, verb.

1. a contrivance of strong thread or cord worked into an open, meshed fabric, for catching fish, birds, or  other animals
2. anything serving to catch or ensnare

The other day, in a Parliamentary debate on Internet Rules 2011, the leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said something so absurd that for a moment I thought he had joined the government. “You can control print and electronic media, but not internet,” he said, only removing his foot from his mouth to add, “If internet had been in existence, Emergency would have been a fiasco.”

Actually, if the Emergency had been in existence, the Internet would have been a fiasco. Continue reading Net Loss: Sajan Venniyoor

India asks Google to remove 2 items every 3 days

Google’s just released fourth biannual Transparency Report says that between January and June 2011, India asked it to remove 358 different items from various Google-owned web services such as Orkut and YouTube. Google complied in 51% cases. The requests were made by various central and state government departments through 68 different requests. The fourth such report, it goes against communications minister Kapil Sibal’s claims that internet companies are not willing to “self-regulate”.

Worryingly, the report also confirms the allegations that what bothers government officials the most about the internet is not defamation or hate speech but government criticism. Continue reading India asks Google to remove 2 items every 3 days