India has moved to ban scores of popular websites after discovering terrorist threats against the country hosted on the portals in question as part of a plan it has been cooking up for weeks.
The Indian government blocked the sites after it found “anti-India” content from ISIL [Islamic State] on 32 sites including Github, Weebly, Vimeo, Pastebin, Daily Motion and a range of others, according to a government order dated December 17 floating around on Twitter.
Documents seen by Quartz report that the plan has been in the works for around a month and the same site revealed a paper that instructs Internet Service Providers [ISPs] to immediately begin blocking the sites.
“The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS,” Arvind Gupta, national head of the information technology cell at the Bharatiya Janata Party, said. “The sites that have removed objectionable content and/or cooperated with the on going investigations, are being unblocked.”
Pastebin.com, one of the sites that has been blocked, has complained that users based in the country have been unable to access the site since December 19 and the Internet Archive has also confirmed users have been barred from the site in recent days.
India’s attempts to block the sites have already hit problems with the Times of India reporting that only certain ISPs have succeeded in doing so thus meaning many are still able to freely access the websites in question.
India is not alone in banning Github after both Russia and China moved to block access, although China opened it back up after realising how important it is for the country’s technology industry. Given how crucial it is for India’s growing tech sector, a similar situation likely to play out in the country.
Image Credit: Flickr (Sanyam Bahga)