The DoT (Department of Telecommunications), has ordered ISPs to block 32 websites including some popular and useful websites such as Pastebin, DailyMotion and Github.
DoT has issued the order under section 69A of the Information Technology(IT) act, 2000 and the IT act Rules, 2009. Under the order, internet service licensees will be blocked immediately to URLs of 32 websites due to copyright violations. DoT has also asked ISPs to submit compliance reports.
Pastebin, a website which stores text online for a set period of time, through its social media accounts reported the block on December 19. The site confirmed that the block was made due to an order issued by the Indian government.
http://t.co/e3zRKnJJQO seems to have been blocked in India. If you are from India and unable to visit Pastebin, please email us.
— Pastebin.com (@pastebin) December 19, 2014
A number of users also reported about the blocks on Reddit threads confirming that the sites have been blocked by service providers Vodafone, BSNL and Hathway, among others. A screenshot of the circular issued has been posted on Twitter by Pranesh Prakash, policy director of the Center for Internet and Society:
Insane! Govt orders blocking of 32 websites including @internetarchive @vimeo @github @pastebin #censorship #FoEx pic.twitter.com/F75ngSGohJ
— Pranesh Prakash (@pranesh_prakash) December 31, 2014
According to reports, when trying to access sites like Vimeo, Pastebin no error messages are coming however the sites are simply blocked. However, a number of users have reported getting an error that says 'the site is blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority.'However, No official statement has been issued as yet on why these websites have been blocked by DoT.
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