Indian Bloggers Blocked

Here's a recent posting from the Blogger news feed (Blogger Buzz)

It has been widely reported that Internet users across India are being blocked from accessing a number of blog hosting sites, including Blog*Spot. We are disappointed and a bit puzzled by these reports. We are also working to understand the situation, and are looking into what we can do to help resolve it.

A big thanks to the many bloggers in India and elsewhere who are investigating, reporting, and working to restore access.

It seems that the Indian government in their wisdom have decided that blogging web addresses such as blogspot.com and typepad.com should be blocked and many Indian ISPs have complied to the demand. So if you haven't heard from any of your Indian blogging friends in a while, this is probably why.

If you are in contact with any friends thus effected by other means a simple solution seems to be to install the Google Web Accelerator. This redirects all web trafic through the Google servers, and so bypasses the blockage. [They should probably disable the prefetching option unless they are on broadband. Right click accelerator icon in System Tray. Select "Preferences". Untick "Enable Prefetching". Click "Save Preferences" button.]

I recently got Anna Sacha back into blog-land this way. Welcome back Anna!


Ricky Carvel said...

Aren't you encouraging folk to break the law here? Maybe this should be a 'render unto Ceasar' issue...

Chris Hamer-Hodges said...

I'm no expert in Indian Internet law, but to the best of my knowledge nothing I have suggested is illegal. GWA is freely available and legal for use in India, and the blog sites have not been outlawed, just blocked.

Anonymous said...

I too don't think that you are breaking the law...they were forced to block blogspot because of some objectionable content on a few blogs. And since they couldn't block a few blogs they clamped down on the entire service.
Anyway it seems to be over now as I got on here without GWA.
But thanks anyways for the info...I am sure it will come in handy somewhere, sometime;-)
Love and grace,

Shashank Bandari said...

I think the Indian Government has done the right thing as when a tragedy of such a scale happens, the first that comes out are the rumours. Even if the specified procedure is not illegal, its certainly not moral.

Chris Hamer-Hodges said...

Newsis now coming out for the reasons behind the blockage.

It was not an initiative intended to block all bloggers in response to the Mumbai blasts, but a request to block 18 specific sites that were broadcasting messages intended to stir religious hatred in the wake of the attacks.

Blocking one blog is very hard, but blocking one IP address is very easy, and so it seems the Indian ISPs took the path of least resistance, blocking thousands of innocent bloggers to deal with the 18.

The global blockage was thus imposed by the laziness of the Indian ISPs rather than the directives of the Indian government.

Getting round this block, therefore, to access one's own blog or the blogs of one's friends does not contravene either the law or the purpose behind the Indian Governments action to protect its citizens.

Anna Sacha said...

hehe....wat a palaver!!!
btw, thanx for the welcome but i better get posting now!!