Bad India!

My first day in India, Ajar one of my host, told me, the government has increase the level of online censorship. Websites that are deemed inflammatory or offensive are blocked. Websites critical of the government are taken down. In March 2011, the Government banned several websites, Typepad, Mobango, Clickatell, and Facebook for sometime without warning. How did the government get this power? Follow November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India pass the Information Technology Act (ITA), expanding the government power to monitor and censor online content in order to protect it’s citizen from terrorism.
India’s censorship is not limited to the Internet; it also extends to movies and TV shows. Ajar doesn’t go to the movies because the government censor material they deem inappropriate so he uses torrent to get the movies. In responds to people like him, the government block access to torrent sites, then Ajar start using VPN to bypass the restriction. It becomes an endless game of cat and mouse. Wasting so many resources!
On my second last night in India, I am watching a Hindi show in New Delhi with a professor who teaches Architect at the University. During the show an alert comes across the screen, informing viewers that if any part of the program offends them to call the government or visit the web site to file a formal complaint. The professor tells me that they have this on ever show, and that if people feel offended, they can file a formal complaint. She further went on to explain that the government takes the complaint, reviews it and put it in some kind of equation and then censor the content accordingly. She tells me that anyone can file a complaint so it’s fair. The oldest democracy making censorship democratic in order to legitimize it’s use; BAD INDIA!

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