Indian bloggers in some parts of India have been facing a problem, which none anticipated would embark on a democratic country which upholds freedom of speech. Shivam Vij writes in rediff news:
"On July 15, Mridula Dwivedi, a teacher of management studies in Gurgaon first discovered that visiting any blogspot blog -- such as, say Mumbai Help -- returned the message, 'Site Blocked!' Her ISP, Spectranet, confirmed they had blocked some sites based on government directives.When Dr Gulshan Rai, Director of the Computer Emergency Response Team—India (CERT-IN) was asked by a blogger about this blockade, he replied: "Somebody must have blocked some sites. What is your problem?"
J Grewal, Spectranet's Delhi representative at the National Internet exchange of India, told this reporter that, on July 15, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had sent ISPs a list of sites to be blocked. R H Sharma, senior engineer with MTNL, said the list ran into some 22 pages."
Dina Mehta has an updated list of ISP's banning blogs:
*Reliance Powersurfer / Infocom
*7 Star Cable Service
Blogspot.com has been blocked by all.
Typepad.com and Geocities.com have been blocked by some
Amit Agarwal gives tips to access blocked websites.
Indian bloggers are uniting themselves to exercise their rights. Sepia Mutiny and Within/Without are posting updates on the developments.
So why the Indian government is blocking the blogs? The Great Mutiny reveals:
"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."But the move is like cutting the phone connection of the whole country because some terrorists are using phone. This is a big mess up and we are waiting to see what happens next.
Update: More news in Economic Times and Financial Express. The Hindustan Times publishes government reactions:
"Officials defended the decision saying, "We would like those people to come forward who access these (the 12) radical websites and please explain to us what are they missing from their lives in the absence of these sites."They still don't get it that there are millions of bloggers out there.
Update II: Pro-Naxal bloggers scare the living daylights out of the Indian Government.
Update III: Blog blockade will be lifted in 48 hours (Shivam in Rediff). 17 banned sites listed. The ISPs blocked whole domain instead of subdomains while banning these.
"None of the sites seem to possess any direct security threat to India, or have any connection with the recent Mumbai blasts. DoT has not explained why these sites need to be restricted from viewing by Indians."Popular US blogs the Jawa Report and one of its contributor's wife Vinni's old Typepad blog are among the list. They are bemused by this grand treatment unable to understand why.