Indian free speech goes the China way
July 19, 2006 12:51 AM Subscribe
Blogspot, Geocities, and TypePad blocked in India. Indian ISPs, who had been ordered by the Indian government to block certain blogs, have blocked the entire blogspot.com, geocities.com, and typepad.com (by IP), rendering hundreds of thousands of blogs inaccessible in India. The block was ordered by the government apparently because terrorists were using blogs to co-ordinate their activities. Indian bloggers, upset at the blanket ban, have started a wiki to keep track of the situation. They have also created a mailing list to discuss the issue. Some prominent Indian bloggers are also tracking updates. Indian laws require ISPs to install filtering equipment and follow government orders to block sites, or the can lose their licence to operate. This is not the first time such an incident has occurred. In 2003, the government ordered a block on a Yahoo group that was supposedly anti-national. Indian ISPs ended up blocking Yahoo Groups completely. India's recently introduced Right-to-Information Act, which many bloggers are planning to use, gives the government 30 days to respond to an RTI request. In the interim, despite national and international coverage of the issue from the likes of New York Times (linked earlier), Washington Post, CNN, New Statesman, and WSJ (paid reg. required), these major blogging sites remain blocked.
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