The hacktivist group, Anonymous flagged off its first peoples’ protest against Internet censorship across Indian cities on June 9. While the group received major support online, the protest, itself didn’t seem to live up to what many may have expected. The group failed to make an impact as not too many people turned up at the protest venue. The reasons could be anything, ranging from lack of awareness of the protests or people's lack of awareness of gravity of Internet censorship. Azad Maidan saw roughly 100 protestors. The protests were peaceful and followed the guidelines set by Anonymous. Several protestors wore the Anonymous or the Guy Fawkes mask and came armed with placards and banners demanding freedom of Internet. Delhi’s Jantar Mantar saw about 200 protestors, while the number was quite meager at Bengaluru, a city known to be the IT hub of India. Click here for a glimpse at the Anonymous protest at Azad Maidan, Mumbai.

Protestors at Azad Maidan...

Protestors at Azad Maidan…

If the gov doesn't want piracy, why don't they just remove pirated content. You have 1 bad apple in a bushel, you throw away the whole box?” said a protestor. “The gov wants to make India another China. They can't take care of 30k government employees they want to censor 1.5 Bln people's Internet,” said another.

Anonymous is a hacktivist group that gained popularity after several instances of websites being hacked by them, to protest Internet censorship started cropping up. The group jumped into action when several file hosting sites faced a block by the Indian government, early this year. It started with Reliance Entertainment and Copyright Labs acquiring John Doe orders for films like Dangerous Ishq, and Dhammu and 3, respectively.  Along with The Pirate Bay and Vimeo, a list of other sites were blocked. Click here to see the list. All this didn’t go well with the Anonymous group, and it went on a hacking spree, starting with Reliance, and several government and political websites and MTNL. The Cert-in.org website was brought down by the hacktivist group on Saturday.  

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