Government of India Unblocks Most of the 32 Banned Websites

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Government of India Unblocks Most of the 32 Banned Websites

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The biggest news of 2014 was, of course, about the brutal group ISIS or ISIL or simply Islamic State. This group has been raising terror in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has proactively used internet and social media tools to spread their pernicious propaganda. It was also recently found that a young executive based in Bangalore was responsible for operating a pro-ISIS Twitter handle. The Indian Government has gone ahead and issued directives to internet providers to ban 32 websites citing national security concerns. Now it seems like most of the websites have been unblocked and are functional.

There were some prominent names in the list including Vimeo, Dailymotion, Sourceforge and Github. A circular supposedly issued by the Department of Telecom (DoT)  also threatened actions against non-compliance of the order by the service providers. The circular came to prominence when it was shared on Twitter.


This circular supposedly from DOT was shared widely on Social media

The head of ruling BJP’s IT cell, Arvind Gupta tweeted that the websites blocked were based on an advisory by Anti-Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti-India content from ISIS. To ban the websites the government used section 69A of the Information Technology Act (2000) and Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules (“Blocking Rules”).

This did cause a lot of furor especially amongst the developer community, which depends on websites like it Github for their projects. Hacktivist group Anonymous also said that they would start attacking Indian government websites if the websites weren’t unblocked. — AnonOpsIndia (@opindia_revenge) December 31, 2014

As of now, it seems that most of the blocks have been lifted as we were able to access almost all of the websites listed in the circular. The block was said to have affected around 290 million Indian citizens.

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Happy Nagashetti
iGyaan Network's newbie Happy is a Technological Hedonist, Traveller, Photographer, Curious Humanoid and a giant foodie who is always pumped up for new adventures.