Latest reports coming in have confirmed that a list containing 309 URLs, whose ban the government had sought in light of the Assam violence and the subsequent NE exodus, has been leaked online. The aforementioned URLs comprise URLs, Twitter accounts, img tags, blog posts, blogs and a handful of websites, and were blocked between August 18, 2012 till August 21, 2012. In an analysis that Pranesh Prakash, programme manager at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), carried of the leaked items, among other things in his post, he wrote that, “It is clear that the list was not compiled with sufficient care.”
List containing 309 blocked URLs leaks online (Image credit: Getty Images
In his post, he further noted that the censorship process itself has been riddled with egregious mistakes. Giving instances of the egregious mistakes, he added that even some people and posts debunking the rumours were blocked as part of the censorship. Further, he wrote that some of the items that were blocked were not even web addresses (e.g., a few HTML img tags were included). In his findings, Prakash also found that despite there having been a clear warning issued by the DIT pertaining to the blocking of “above URLs only” and not that of main websites, like www.facebook.com, www.youtube.com, some ISPs (like Airtel) went “overboard in their blocking”. This incident, in particular pertains to yesterday's reports, wherein it had been revealed that Airtel had blocked the entire YouTube short URL youtu.be in some cities.
On account of the sensitivity of the issue, he writes that it “would be premature to share the whole list.” He, however, writes that CIS plans to make the entire list public soon. The list that CIS has released, however includes –
Further, in response to the question – as to why some items could still be accessed that were supposed to be blocked, he wrote that there are several errors in the list, making it difficult to apply. And the order has to be put into action by hundreds of ISPs. He adds that some ISPs may not have begun enforcing the blocks yet. “This analysis is based on the orders sent around to ISPs, and not on the basis of actual testing of how many of these have actually been blocked by Airtel, BSNL, Tata, etc. Additionally, if you are using Twitter through a client (on your desktop, mobile, etc.) instead of the web interface, you will not notice any of the Twitter-related blocks,” he elaborated further.
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Publish date: August 23, 2012 2:40 pm| Modified date: December 19, 2013 12:07 am