Multiple reports are coming in about an extremely unusual bout of Internet censoring in India. Sites like Vimeo, DailyMotion, Github, Pastebin etc have been blocked by various ISPs across India on the orders of the NDA Government. While Vimeo & Dailymotion are Youtube like video hosting sites, Github is a site that is used by every 2nd software engineer in the world. Some of the complaints across various social media sites like Reddit and Twitter can be seen below:
wonderful. I can’t open vimeo, github, dailymotion and pastebin via bsnl broadband. Seems like they have been blocked. torrentz.eu works….
— vatsal mehra (@rdbcasillas) December 30, 2014
Pastebin is still blocked in India. We are getting many reports about this. The Indian government has blocked us,… http://t.co/6jqnHcgtIP
— Pastebin.com (@pastebin) December 26, 2014
@github Why are you guys blocked by some ISPs in India?
— Arunanand T A (@TAAspeaks) December 31, 2014
Now a letter is doing rounds on Twitter that all this censorship is because of an order issued by DoT (Department of Telecom) on behest of the NDA Government.
— Pranesh Prakash (@pranesh_prakash) December 31, 2014
Most of the 32 sites in the list are pastebin.com category of sites which are essentially Internet based clipboard websites. One can past short snippets of text, code etc to share it with the Internet populace. This clipboard category of sites have their flaws which allow hackers to use these sites to leak hacked passwords, credit card numbers etc. However they are also being used for very legitimate purposes by thousands of programmers across the world.
In contrast to the aforementioned sites, Github, Vimeo, Dailymotion, Archive.org are used by millions across India and have nothing to do with such malpractices and the censorship of these sites is extremely surprising. While Github is ranked 101 in the word among millions of sites worldwide, Vimeo is ranked 119.
Such ill-informed Internet censoring is shocking in a country like India which has come to be known as the IT backbone of the world. Such regressive steps spell bad news for the fast growing IT industry in India and will raise alarm bells across various Industry leaders across the world who outsource various services to India. Lets hope NDA Government realizes their blunder and works on revoking the censorship as soon as possible.