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July 18, 2006

India Blocks BlogSpot And Other Domains

The Unreachable
BoingBoing and many other sites report that Indian government had decided to ban a number of blogs because some terrorist organizations use them to communicate.

"India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) passed an order to ISPs Friday to block several websites. The list is confidential. Indian ISPs have been slowly coming into compliance. SpectraNet, MTNL, Reliance, and as of Monday afternoon, Airtel. State-backed BSNL and VSNL have not started yet but likely will soon. The known list of blocked domains is *.blogspot.com, *.typepad.com and geocities.com/*."

Here's a big list of ways to bypass the ban, including Google Translate, proxy servers, TOR and pkblogs.com. I recommend adding the feed to a feed reader.

I still have some readers from India (the percent of visitors dropped from 4% to 2%), so that means not all the ISPs have blocked BlogSpot.com. Obviously, blocking sites is not the solution to stop terrorism, as there are always ways to circumvent the ban and other means of communication.

7 comments:

  1. It seems that Google Translate doesn't work anymore. I tried just yesterday, using the English to English translation, and it just redirected straight to the site. Maybe it does work with other combinations.

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  2. why would it work for english to english translation?

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  3. On the other hand I think Indian government could have used these sites to monitor such activities. It just shows that even though India has one of the largest talent pool of tech people the government needs to do some catching up. India should collaborate on how to data mine such activities with US.

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  4. I use FF Extension " httproxy ". It works well. Pkblog setting was already built in there. Also can use (http://www.inblogs.net)as Pkblog. I dont believe it can prevent from terrorists. There are lots of ways apart of it.

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  5. An update via BB:

    According to a report on NDTV 24X7, an Indian news channel, the Indian government's clampdown on blogsites (and some websites) is NOT connected to the recent blasts in Mumbai, but is an effort to curb the propagation of religious extremism on the Net. If that's true, the ban may not be lifted any time soon. The Indian government, however, has yet to issue an official statement on the subject.

    If it's not clear from what has been said so far, the Indian ban applies to ALL blogs from these sites, not just those originating in India: ALL blogspot, typepad, geocities blogs worldwide. If you have a blog from one of these providers anywhere in the world, I cannot read you.

    It's odd that we can still post to our own blogs, and read the blogs that we have had the foresight to subscribe to through RSS. These loopholes may be closed soon, if this is to be a long-term policy. The list of blocked sites includes:

    • hinduunity.org
    • hinduhumanrights.org
    • princesskimberley.com
    • bloodspot.com
    • dalitstan.org
    • clickatell.com
    • blogspot.com
    • geocities.com
    • typepad.com

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  6. The ban on blogger.com sites has been lifted. Users who used online feed readers, like bloglines, never even realized the ban!

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  7. Do you know more about the reasons of the ban?

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