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Friday, August 24, 2012

Governement faces backlash over Internet blocking in India

NEW DELHI: Government's attempt to block online material that it blames for fuelling ethnic tensions was on Friday described by Internet experts as "monumentally incompetent" and "completely illegal".

The government over the past week has ordered Internet service providers to block 309 webpages, images and links on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, news channel ABC of Australia and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.

The orders were an effort to halt the spread of inflammatory material and rumours that Muslims were planning to attack students and workers who have migrated from the northeast region to live in Bangalore and other southern cities.

But Twitter users, legal experts and analysts criticised the government's approach.

"The officials who are trusted with this don't know the law or modern technology well enough," Pranesh Prakash, programme manager at the Centre for Internet and Society research group, told AFP. Read More