[2006-07-19] All Your Blogs Are Belong To Us

We in India are no longer able to directly view blogs hosted on Blogspot, Typepad, Geocities, etc. This is because ISPs in India are blocking access to these popular sites acting on a government diktat to block some blogs "within the provisions of the Fundamental Right to free speech and expression granted in India's constitution" [sic]. Mridula was one of the first ones to notice and write about this blockade and the story has already made it to Slashdot and some of the mainstream media in India.

The government's diktat was to block a specific set of blogs ("to ensure a balanced flow of information") but since all the Blogspot URLs resolve to the same IP address, the blockade ends up blocking all blogs hosted on Blogspot. Ditto for Typepad, Geocities, etc. Since blogger.com is not blocked, I am able to post to my blog. I can also view my blog from my office since the Internet connection there is routed via a corporate proxy server located in the US. Using pkblogs.com, which was set up to allow people in Pakistan to view Blogspot blogs since they have a similar blockade in place, is another workaround, as is using a public proxy server or the Tor network using something like Torpark.

In 2003, a similar government diktat to block a specific Yahoo! Group had caused all Yahoo! Groups to become inaccessible from India. Thankfully that situation was resolved quickly and let's hope this issue is too.

A clueless bureaucracy eagerly assisted by a servile and clueless set of ISPs is not good news. Where is a cluebat when you need one?

(Originally posted on Blogspot.)

Other Posts from 2006