More reports on: Government policies

Government blocks 32 web sites hosting`hostile' content

news
31 December 2014

The government has blocked over 32 web sites and their links, including popular online tools including popular ones such as GitHub, DailyMotion, Sourceforge and Pastebin, for allegedly hosting content that is pro terrorist group ISIS and for not cooperating with government investigations.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued orders under section 69A of the Information Technology(IT) act, 2000 and the IT act Rules, 2009 to block as many as 32 web sites and their links.

The Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000 gives the state ''Power to issue directions for blocking for public access of any information through any computer resource''.

Based on the DoT directive internet service providers have blocked access to 32 web sites.

According to Arvind Gupta, the national head of BJP's IT cell, these web sites have been blocked due to security reasons.

While some internet service providers are yet to block these web sites, many users have reported frequent outages in these web services over the last two weeks.

While web sites like Pastebin don't host any content, they are used as a platform for pasting text. Vimeo and DailyMotion are YouTube like video sharing websites; GitHub is a forum where software developers host and share programming code and so on.

Government officials said, "These are all providing very dangerous kind of cut and paste services..You can take code, cut it, paste it, remove it, delete it."

A government release said this has been done on a request by Additional Director General of Police, Anti Terrorism Squad, MS, Mumbai for blocking the 32 web sites / pages, which were being used for jihadi Propaganda. 

It was stated that anti-national groups are using social media for mentoring Indian youths to join the jihadi activities. These web sites work on page hosting concept.

Many of these web sites do not require any authentication for pasting any material on them. Other upload articles, videos or photos or to download the contents which helps to hide the identities. These web sites were being used frequently for pasting, communicating such content by just changing page name even blocking the earlier one.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate also issued the order on 10 November 2014 for blocking of these 32 web sites on urgent basis.

''Blocking of the web sites was ordered in compliance with court order. Contact has also been made with some of the web sites.

Some of these web sites have undertaken not to allow pasting of such propaganda information on their web site and also work with the government to remove such material as per the compliance with the laws of land. The action has been initiated to unblock the following sites:

  • weebly.com
  • vimeo.com
  • dailymotion.com
  • gist.github.com

A similar approach could be considered for other involved web sites on getting assurance that law of the land would be complied with, the release added.





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