Let's Build a Responsible Cyber Society




Why is Bloggernews.net still blocked in India?

It is difficult to understand why this site bloggernews.net remains blocked in India. Some time back one article written by me on this site was sought to be blocked with a Court order. It was related to a dispute between a company called E2labs in India and the onwers of Zone-H.org. E2Labs had filed a defamation suit in a Court in Delhi and asked for an interim order to block the URL. Accordingly an order was made to block the specific URL http://www.bloggernews.net/124029

The defendant in this case namely Mr Roberto Preotoni did not defend his case in the Court and the ex-parte interim order remained unchallenged.

However at that time the blockade was only on the specific URL and the rest of the site was available. Since then the site is off and on under blockade for reasons not known.

When I observed that Tata Docomo continued to block the site while other ISPs did not block it, I raised a query with the Tata Docomo officials. After some time the site started working. Now for the last one week the site again is not accessible through some of ISPs in India. Reason is not known.

It is possible that the blockade is due to technical inefficiency of the ISPs who instead of blocking a specific URL might have blocked the entire site.

If this is not the case, either some other Court or the GOI might have ordered blocking of the site through a separate order which we donot know.

I would urge the honorable Delhi High Court to review its order since the order has become redundant. If the Court had read through the article which was ordered to be blocked they would have realized that there is no reason why the URL was to be blocked. I suppose the Court should not stand on formalities that some citizen should raise the issue before them for a review. The Court should review its own order and take a reasoned decision.

The complainant is not interested in a review since his prayer for blocking zone-h.org has been answered and so also the prayer for blocking bloggernews.net article. I however feel that the blocking of the bloggernews.net might not have been due to a Court order but due to a representation to MCIT that it is related to the Court proceedings. The CERT at that time might have acted in haste and order the blocking of the order.

Any blocking of websites by a Government order needs to be automatically reviewed. I request the CERT-In to publicly announce why the site bloggernes.net remains blocked and What is the national interest that is being served by the blocking?

If the blocking is not authorised by GOI, each of the ISPs who have caused the blocking are liable for "Denial of Access" and "Diminishing the Utility of a computer resource" which are offences under Section 66 of ITA 2008. The CEOs of the ISPs and the CTOs are liable for imprisonment. If the blocking is unauthorized under Sec 69/69A, there could also be punishment under this section.

It would be interesting for the readers to make a search of bloggernews.net for the keyword "India" and identify which article could be the one which has offended the GOI.

I would be happy to receive the views of the readers.



July 13, 2011

 Related report in DH : Related Report in HT

 Comments are Welcome at naavi@vsnl.com