Tuesday, July 18, 2006

India enforces a Blogspot blackout

The Indian government is blocking access to blog sites, apparently because terrorists use blogs to communicate. As somebody commented on Boing Boing,

Not only is this useless (because the terrorists can simply use proxies), it's akin to shutting off the country's telephone service because terrorists talk to each other through phones.

In the short term the blog-out is just incovenient for people. I helped one OTN forum user this morning by reproducing an entry from Scott Spendolini's blog (crucial to the success of their project apparently). But we cannot do this for everybody. The Boing Boing article includes a site with some workarounds. Unfortunately (like this blog) it's on Blogspot and so is useless to anybody whose ISP has already blocked their access.

In the long run, we can all agree the Mumbai bomb was horrific. Of course governments need to take measures to apprehend terrorists and prevent further carnage. The question the Indian government ought to be pondering is, will restricting access to the internet, by hobbling its tigerish software industry, end up doing more damage to the Indian economy, for no discernible return?

Update: 20-JUL-2006

According to Shivam Vij at Rediff this measure was actually aimed at suppressing individual sites which promote religious intolerance. The fact that it was applied wholesale to blog domains is due to a misunderstanding on the part of the ISPs. Consequently the blockade should be lifted soon. We shall see.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must be jokin! about china's govt. or??? did you get confused china or sudan with india by any chance?

18 July 2006 at 08:45:00 GMT-7  
Blogger APC said...

If only I were joking. The sad fact is that the democratic government of India has aligned itself with China, Saudi Arabia and those other governments that restrict their populaces' access to the internet.

Why would I make this up?

Cheers, APC

18 July 2006 at 09:33:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Clemens Utschig - Utschig said...

sux! Free blog india! and yes the bomb and any terroristic act is horrific, but bouncing blogs does not help.

18 July 2006 at 10:59:00 GMT-7  
Blogger Scott said...

I'm not sure which is more amazing - that a democratic nation would ban blogs with the intent of stopping terrorism, or that something on my blog was crucial to someone's project. :)

In all seriousness, what happened in India was a horrific and despicable event, but stopping a blog website will likely not thwart the terrorists for long, if at all.

- Scott -

18 July 2006 at 19:38:00 GMT-7  
Anonymous India Radio said...

censorship is ugly !

23 May 2007 at 00:56:00 GMT-7  

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