The Department of Telecom (DoT) has instructed all the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block only the specified website/webpages on the parent website. … As such the DoT has now directed all the ISPs to strictly comply with the order dated 13th July 2006 and provide unhindered access to Internet except for the websites/webpages which have been specifically mentioned in its orders issued from time to time.
The DoT has further sought explanation from the erring ISPs as to why action be not taken against them for blocking unintended websites/webpages.
Before I laugh, let me point you to the parts that amuse me right now. Anyone who says that this is not a matter of cyber-censorship is clearly missing the point that the DoT thinks they have the right to block any website online. And apparently these orders go out from time to time. (Here’s to those who said this has never happened before.) Blocking one page maybe like taking away a drop from the ocean. However, regardless of how much water you took away – it is the act of taking away that is in question.
Second bit of amusement. Notice the last sentence. How beautifully it all now collapses on the ISPs’ shoulders. Not a word about the government on why they think they can block a website. It’s almost like they brushed off any query about rights of citizens.
Now. Go laugh.
After you finish laughing at the futility of all this – we’ll sit down to remind ourselves that somebody sitting in the Government office has decided on your behalf that you are not capable of digesting some content online. I might wake up tomorrow and find just my blog blocked. I share my server with perhaps seventeen other websites. Some of you may notice tomorrow that you get strange errors on my page. You’ll come once, twice and maybe even an odd third time when you google for something. You’ll get irritated and never come again. I won’t have an army of bloggers to defend my rights then. Even suppose you are inordinately fond of reading me – you won’t find anyone to support your right to read. You may never realize that the blog is blocked because the government doesn’t even find it fit to tell you what is blocked. And let’s face it – one piddly little navel gazing blog isn’t going to make someone fish for a copy of a government note and fax it to anyone.
In the end – a drop will go missing from the ocean. Somebody somewhere will tsk away and say something about how it’s not censorship – just the state’s good intentions.
PS – This post has nothing to do with blogs. Or even democracy. Now read.