Anonymous India, in a recent protest against the Department of Telecommunications’ (DoT) blockade of 78 URLs that criticised a private MBA institution, hacked and brought down IIPM’s (Indian Institute of Planning and Management) website on Saturday. The blockade had been directed by a Gwalior Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Februray 14, 2013. News of the hack attack has been trending across Twitter and has seen a barrage of comments from the Twitterrati.
Reports have it that the hacker group kept the IIPM’s URL, and 16 other links carrying content from IIPM, down and out for 9 hours. The online community was in an uproar over the blockade as it seemed to indicate how a private body made unjust use of the Indian judiciary to clean its reputation online.
The blockade came as a shock to 73 of the 78 URL owners which were taken down under the court’s directive without prior intimation to the owners. Medianama, the first website to post the news, was in fact one of the websites that belongs to the list of blocked URLs, which also includes that of University Grants Commission (UGC). Nikhil Pahwa of Medianama had posted the “order”, a PDF document issued by DoT, owing to which the online media fraternity was informed about the blockade. It also seems like a mockery of India’s education system whereby UGC, a deemed government education set up, has been gagged by a local judiciary body.
UGC’s portal carried a notice released in July 2012 which mentioned that “IIPM is not a university within the meaning of section 2(f) of the UGC Act, 1956”. Reports further add that in reaction to this notice, IIPM Founder, Arindham Chaudhari, stated that he was proud of the fact that IIPM was not affiliated to a corrupt institution like that of UGC and that he is glad that malicious content on IIPM is off the web.
Chaudhari also made a comment on Firstpost saying, “I suspect that UGC — at the behest of some of our petty competitors with dirty past records of filth and cheating, and public notices against them — had been deliberately spreading misleading information about IIPM to hurt its business interests and had even gone to the extent of falsely calling IIPM a fake university.”
Perhaps, the self-proclaimed marketing guru is glad that his private institution has come into the limelight without many efforts from his end. The controversy has definitely given mileage to Chaudhari’s crusade against those who have been accusing IIPM for making a business out of middle class MBA aspirants.
Here are a couple of tweets posted over the controversy:
Anonymous India (@OpIndia_revenge)- “#TangoDown iipm.in #IIPMScam. Reason: Got court order to block URLs criticizing them including the UGC (Govt Body) notice”
Gursimran Khamba (@gkhamba) – “If Arindam was as good at marketing as he says he is he would've used this controversy to say 'IIPM – No 1 in internet exposure'“.
Sumit Kumar (@kumar_sumit) – “@opindia_revenge:On a lighter side #IIPM has done one thing which none of us could do .. they got a govt url blocked .. #UGC #GOI“