The Department of Telecom in India has 22 page confidential list blocking certain websites, and apparently ISPs have blocked whole domains like blogspot and typepad. Now that bloggers are becoming aware of it, and talking about it, I am guessing the goverment will be forced to come clean about this.
Shivam Vij at Rediff says:
In 2003, one of the first things CERT-IN did was to approve the blocking of an obscure mailing list run by a banned militant outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) of the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya. Ironically, the popularity and visibility of the list went up by leaps and bounds, despite it being blocked by all ISPs. Many could still see the list via email or proxy surfing.
As with many such issues where there is a large educated population being targeted by policy in India, in the next few days, if I can safely predict based on trend, a small group of people will get together from one of the major cities and file a case against the government for violation of constitutional rights, there will be heated discussion in several media and the government will appoint an x member committee to look into the issue, the committee will come out with its report 5-7 years from now by which time the main issue would have been forgotten, the government will reject the findings, and individuals would have adjusted to life without blogspot or typepad.
I do not know how we can call a lot of stuff happening in India democracy. The idea of the socialist state and bureaucracy is to drag its feet forever so that even the most ardent individual would either lose interest or be dead by the time a decision is made. Think about all the different committes and outrages in the past, Kelkar Commission, Bofors Case, Kargil Coffins, they were all media juicy news for a while, and they all lay dead and buried now.
Its funny the reasons the government has for blocking blogs. Even assuming there are some terrorist blogs among those banned, do they think that by blocking these domains they are going to prevent terrorists from communicating? Its ridiculous!!!
Thanks to Brian for the pointer.