Friday, September 26, 2003

desi no-no for Yahoo! Groups

Although the problem seems to have passed now, it deserves mention on this fertile ground of rants.

Once upon a recent time, in the world's largest democracy [sic], India (meraa bhaarat splitting at the seams), the Department of Information Technology sired the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) as the authority for blocking of sites. This shockingly anti-democratic move went largely uncontested. Until now.

CERT-In discovered kynhun, a forum carrying postings by the secessionist group the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council, one of 14 organizations banned in India (The ban was imposed in November 2000). (Incidentally, with 82 members (20 a week ago) and just 33 postings in a year, this forum isn't exactly busy!).

The government immediately asked Yahoo! to remove the forum. Yahoo! refused to comply. Who can blame them, really? Huh? So now, the Government issued a blanket ban on Yahoo! Groups. Unfortunately, a lot of ISPs went along with this, and blocked out the whole domain. (Insert suitable rants about nincompoops running the asylum)

A DoT note says: "Blocking of such Web sites may be equated to 'balanced flow of information' and not censorship". I leave the political analysis of this whole mess to people more qualified and objective. To speak for myself, I'll just add members of the CERT-In and its proponents along with Kalam and Vajpayee to my version of the Titanic's passenger list. How about a CERT-In music video with Hrithik Roshan singing "yahoo, yahoo" instead of "jaaduu jaduu"?

related articles: yahoo! groups blocked in india | india blocks yahoo! groups | india's yahoo! groups ban | government is not on solid ground | india blocks a yahoo! group carrying anti-government messages

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