It is good to see that public opinion is growing when it comes to internet censorship in the country. A lot of people say that we are becoming the new China. Sadly, looking at the latest list of web pages blocked by the Indian government, I can safely say, we have become the new China.
I can understand government targeting individual web pages with content that is against the law of the land. However, the kind of blocks we are seeing today is so broad that it defies common sense.
The latest list in fact include search results on social networks like Twitter, YouTube and even Google+. Funny considering most mainstream media still call Google+ a ghost town. Our government is so afraid of public opinion that they are targeting mediums that are used by 3-5% of the total population!
Blocking individual Twitter/Blogging accounts make sense because they are still targeting individuals who can probably fight back (courts?). But search results? That affect each and every member of the service.
This is exactly what China do whenever there is a national scandal… Block keywords on almost all online channels so that the people in the country cannot search for them.
There is one good thing in the latest list… The people responsible for picking the links have clearly stated that the ISPs should not block entire domains. We have seen this happen before when entire networks were made inaccessible (Blogger, TypePad and so on).
I guess it is time to accept that we have become China when it comes to censorship on the internet. And here I was angry about using a VPN solution to get around torrent throttling on airtel broadband.
Instead of establishing network neutrality laws to ensure that people in this country have access to free flowing information on the internet, I guess we would soon have laws to ensure that such orders are not challenged in the court of law in the future.