The government of India has a relatively long history of trying to censor content and websites that goes against the wishes of the state.
(ANTIMEDIA) Censorship laws recently allowed the government of India to request that the country’s ISPs (internet service providers) block access to Vimeo, GitHub, and about 30 other large websites.
The government of India has a relatively long history of trying to censor content and websites that goes against the wishes of the state, possibly comparable to China. However, even the Chinese government ended up allowing GitHub to function.
Pranesh Pakesh, a director at Bangalore’s Centre for Internet and Society publicly released a list of the websites the Indian government asked ISP’s to block, effectively doing his significant part to ensure that his area remain free of censorship, corruption, overbearing laws, and exploitation.
Below is the list that he released.
The head of the “Bharatiya Janata” political party alleges that the government requested these large sites be blocked because ‘they listed content from ISIS’.
That has yet to be confirmed, and either way a lot of people would argue that isn’t a valid excuse for a government to block access to dozens of websites. Also, there are a million ways to dispose of ‘content from ISIS’ on a large website, rather than using a large government to take advantage of overbearing laws to bully ISPs into submission.
Unfortunately, it seems service providers have already cut access to some of these sites.
Times of India reported that they “were not able to access Pastebin, DailyMotion or GitHub using Vodafone’s 3G service, although they were able to get on the three sites via rival operator Airtel’s service.”
Now more than ever, the people of the entire world have a say in what their government tries to do to suppress freedom of speech or basic human rights. With the way things are going now, the government of India will continue to find massive opposition to their attempts to regulate the content that reaches people’s minds through the internet. Taking into account a wide variety of factors in this age of global connectedness through the internet, it seems much more difficult for a government to put the tyrannical boot down and enforce laws no one wants to follow.
Observing what happens next could have several implications. Will this government decide to take further action to restrict the internet of India, and how effective would their efforts be in contrast to public opposition and protest? We will see how far the people of India will go to keep their internet free. Most likely the Indian government will continue efforts to restrict the internet, as it has been happening for a while now.
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