The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) yesterday issued instructions to Internet Service Licensees to block access to 78 URLs, and what is evident from the list of URLs is that 73 of these are related to the educational institution IIPM. The order is signed by Subodh Saxena of the DoT.
Most surprisingly, the block covers the University Grants Commission (UGC), wherein a notice from the UGC pointing towards the unrecognised status of IIPM has been ordered to be blocked. What is worrying is that the blocks include URLs of news portals like Outlook Magazine, Careers360, The Times of India, FirstPost, Rediff, The Indian Express, The Economic Times, MensXP, The Wall Street Journal, The Caravan Magazine, whose reports related to IIPM have been blocked.
Apart from this, spoof news site Faking News has eight URLs in the list (some repeated), while a URL from The Unreal Times has also been asked to be blocked. Also blocked are blog posts from 2005 and 2006 critical of IIPM, including those from Gaurav Sabnis and Rashmi Bansal. Apart from this, URL on consumer complaints portals Akosha and consumercourtforum.in related to IIPM has also been ordered to be blocked, as well as a compilation of links on Bitly by Mahesh Murthy.
The Wall Street Journal and Caravan Magazine have their Arindam Chaudhuri specific tags in the list for blocking as well. Note that these blocks may not have been implemented in all earnest yet, but the orders to block them have been issued. Doesn’t look like these blocks can be justified on the grounds of national security.