When Desipundit.com reported that blogspot.com blogs were blocked by certain ISPs in India, I really didn’t pay much attention thinking it was only a temporary technical problem faced by just few people in India.
But as the story started to unfold, it became clear that all the Indian ISPs had restricted access to popular sites like geocities.com, typepad.com and blogspot.com.
The unfortunate thing was that even when thousands of legitimate Bloggers were affected by the ban, the Indian Telecom officials have decided to remain tight lipped on why the ban was imposed at the first place and when is it likely to be lifted.
While the Government may be right in blocking websites that spread religious extremism or threaten “national security”, I think they should have applied some more logical thinking before issuing the directive to ISPs.
BLOCKED BLOGS: Some blogs containing vital information on Mumbai blasts have also been blocked.
If some site hosted on blogspot.com contains objectionable content, why are they penalising millions of other sites? Is it the Government to be blamed for blocking the “good” sites or is it the ISPs?
I would put more blame on ISPs who lack the technical expertise to block only few webpages without affecting other sites on the same domain. Some blogs hosted on Blogspot.com have proved to be vital sources of information during the tsunami disaster and the more recent train blasts in Mumbai.
Even the Karnataka state police have an official blog on Blogspot to connect the citizen with the police. But thanks to the Government ban, these good sources of information are no longer accessible to anyone in India.
Yes, there are workarounds to bypass the ban but how many people would feel comfortable using those methods? Can you imagine non-techies and moms using Internet Proxies or other geekie tricks to access the restricted blogs? No way.
Being a professional blogger, I actually make a living from my technology blog hosted on blogspot.com. For me, traffic translates into revenue but this ban has adversely hit the traffic to my blog originating from India and so has the revenue.
I can still manage to survive with the reduced traffic since a bulk of my readers are from outside India but what about other Bloggers who rely only on traffic from India ? Why are they being penalised?
I think the Government owes an explanation here. With all the media glare and growing protest by Bloggers, I hope the ISPs and the Government of India realise their mistake and lift the ban really soon. We don’t want to another China.