Thorough analysis of the list of all the online items that were recently banned in India gives clue to the occurrence of discrepancies in the efforts made by censorship authorities.
August25, 2012: Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) has expressed speculations that proper care has eschewed the process of blocking several websites by the government in the wake of communal violence in Assam and the mass level exodus of North East people from Bangalore.
The inconsistencies came into limelight when Mr. Pranesh Prakah, Programme Manager at CIS was given the responsibility to analyse 309 specific internet links that were censored from the period ranging between August 18 to August 21, 2012 on the instructions of Department of Telecom, as per the news posted on the official CIS website.
The censoring was conducted as a mode to stop the spreading of rumours further that had already led thousands of people from the North-East region to flea Bangalore and move to their native place right after the Independence Day, i.e., August15, 2012.
The move of item restriction was also important in spite of the communal violence that took away the lives of many people in Assam.
However, the move came out to be no more than a half-hearted attempt on the part of the government, as mentioning about the errors in the censorship efforts, Prakash wrote on the CIS website, “It is clear that the list was not compiled with sufficient care,”.
He further stated that “people and posts debunking rumours have been blocked.”, which is an absolute contradiction to the government’s real purpose that is to discourage the widespread proliferation of rumours.
To add to the flaws, he also found some links on the list that are non-existent over the web, which also raises concerns over the methodology the responsible officials have adopted.
Among the 309 items that made it to the list of censored items over the web, several URLs and Twitter accounts were prominent, followed by blog posts, blogs, img tabs and various websites.
Ahead of revealing errors in the list, the CIS Programme Manager also expressed worries about the authenticity of the grounds on which the items have been blocked.
“The blocking of many of the items on that list are legally questionable and morally indefensible, even while a some of the items ought, in my estimation, to be removed,”, He said.
The incident is not the first of its kind, in the past as well several steps were raised to block websites for different reasons and amid all this, the role of ISPs is believed to be hyper active in their motive to adhere with the rulings of the government.
The reports of blocking the entire websites instead of taking off some of their specific links keep on doing rounds now and then such as Airtel coming down heavily on YouTube thereby removing all its short youtu.be URLs. This time as well the story is no alien.
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