Friday, April 8, 2011

Websites Blocking In India

The blocking of Zone-H website in India shows how easy it is to get any qualitative and genuine site blocked. All you need is an ex parte order from a competent court and the rest would be taken care of by the Indian judicial system that taken decades to get a dispute resolved. Effectively and practically it means blocking of Zone-H website for more than 20 years or so unless challenged successfully in India.

Of course, you can access the Zone-H website in India if you wish to do so. Further, using of TOR Software would also allow you to access the website of Zone-H or any other blocked website. But this recourse is unfortunate to say the least.

India is a Democratic Country with a Right to Speech and Expression, informs Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based law firm Perry4Law and CEO of India’s exclusive Human Rights Protection Centre for Cyberspace. Unfortunately, Websites Blocking and Internet Censorship in India have increased significantly, informs Dalal. At times, there is little application of mind while blocking a website in India, says Dalal.

Recently, Blogspot domain was blocked in India once again. It was not clear why Blogspot was blocked in India though some tried to provide an explanation and reasons of the same. It may be an “experimental blockage” that took place at the point where Internet traffic enters and exits India.

This exercise may have different names. Some may call it an Internet Kill Switch (IKS) whereas others may call it a centralised monitoring system (CMS). Whatever the name you may wish to give it, we need measures to prevent its abuse in India.

Similarly, even the Judiciary of India must change its attitude towards Blocking of Websites, suggests Dalal. The Blocking of Zone-H Website and its Continuance only gives a bad taste and shows lack of sensitivity towards this issue, suggests Dalal. If Courts and Executive take wrong or hasty decisions, Self Defence in Cyberspace seems to be the only choice for citizens of India, opines Dalal.

Indian citizens must fight website blocking and Internet censorship in India. This is more so when the draconian and unregulated powers have been self conferred by Indian government and its agencies upon themselves without any procedural and civil liberty safeguards.