In a matter of grave concern to the activists of freedom of expression, CERT IN has ordered blocking of 78 URLs allegedly inimical to the interests of IIPM. Surprisingly the blocked URLs include a notification from UGC stating that IIPM is not a “University” under the UGC act.
The report in Medianama also states “What is worrying is that the blocks include URLs of news portals like Outlook Magazine, Careers360, The Times of India, FirstPost, Rediff, The Indian Express, The Economic Times, MensXP, The Wall Street Journal, The Caravan Magazine, whose reports related to IIPM have been blocked. Apart from this, spoof news site Faking News has 8 URLs in the list (some repeated), while a URL from The Unreal Times has also been asked to be blocked. Also blocked are blog posts from 2005 and 2006 critical of IIPM, including those from Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal. Apart from this, URL on consumer complaints portals Akosha and consumercourtforum.in related to IIPM has also been ordered to be blocked, as well as a compilation of links on Bitly by Mahesh Murthy. The Wall Street Journal and Caravan Magazine have their Arindam Chaudhuri specific tags in the list for blocking as well”
Does it mean that IIPM should be allowed to continue its misleading advertisements? What is the ground on which news about blocking has also been blocked? Is it not a matter of fact that the news papers were reporting? ..are issues which need debate.
Though CERT IN has taken shelter under a “Court Order”, it is surprising that CERT IN did not consider countering the Court with information that UGC was actually doing its statutory duty in publicising the notice and many other sites were only carrying the news relevant at that point of time.
The matter requires an immediate reconsideration.
I also reproduce here a post made in naavi.org in October 2005 about IIPM which indicates that the controversy with IIPM has been in existence since a long time.
IIPM Issues e-Legal Notice to Bloggers
In what could be a fight for “Freedom of Speech over the Internet” and “Journalsitic rights” Vs Commercial interests, IIPM has challenged Bloggers who wrote articles on the alleged false and fraudulent statements made by IIPM for marketing its programmes. This follows certain allegations that IIPM has made false claims in a Mumbai based web journal published a few articles on IIPM which the latter finds defamatory.
IIPM does not appear to have issued any rejoinders but has issued a legal notice threatening arrest of the blogger within one day and demanding withdrawal of his article and holding him responsible for links in other websites/blogs etc. At this point of time the action contemplated by IIPM on the magazine is not known.
An interesting academic aside to the controversy is the validity of the e-legal notice issued by IIPM to an e-mail address. If accepted, this could begin a new trend in the use of IT in litigation. Additionally if the case is pursued against a Blogger and not the original publisher of the article, the differential status of a “Blog” and “Website” may also come to be discussed. Copy of iipm notice: Related info. : Bloggers Beware (article from naavi.org)