Wednesday, July 19, 2006

India bans access to blogs

India has banned access to 17 websites and blogs it says preach messages of religious hatred, an official said.

But in scrambling to obey the order some of India's Internet service providers have simply blocked users from looking at entire domains such as - and the thousands of blogs, or online web journals, hosted there.

The government said it had written to ISPs, which it licences, with a list of sites to blocked in the interest of Indian security on July 13, two days after seven bombs killed more than 180 people on the Mumbai train network.

But Gulshan Rai, director of the Ministry of Communication's Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, said the ban order was not a specific response to the attack.

"These blogs are pitting Muslim against non-Muslim," he said.

Bloggers have reacted with outrage at what they say is an erosion of free speech, as well as bafflement at the sometimes surprising choice of sites included in the ban.

So... India is new China? :/

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