New Delhi: An analysis of a leaked list of items that were ordered to be blocked by Indian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) on directions from the Department of Telecom bring to light the inconsistencies in India's online censorship efforts.
Pranesh Prakash, programme manager at the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS), analysed the 309 specific items that were asked to be censored from August 18, till August 21, 2012 by the Indian government following the recent incidents of communal violence and the mass exodus of North East Indians from Bangalore.
"It is clear that the list was not compiled with sufficient care," Prakash writes in a post on the CIS website that reveals several egregious errors in the censorship process.
Indian ISPs are also known to go overboard in their efforts to comply with any government order. There have been numerous incidents in the past when ISPs were asked to block a specific URL and they ended up blocking entire domains. The latest round of censorship is also no different. There have been reports of Airtel blocking the entire YouTube short URL youtu.be in some cities.
CIS hasn't published the complete list of the blocked items given "the sensitivity of the issue" but has posted a list of domains from which specific items have been asked to be blocked, though the websites have not been blocked. The list follows: