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New Delhi - India’s attempt to block online material that it blames for fuelling ethnic tensions has been described by internet experts as “monumentally incompetent” and “completely illegal”.
Last week, the government 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 on Friday.
“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 said.
“It is counter-productive. I accuse them of monumental incompetence, given that the main problem is that they are getting really bad advice.”
Photos from Burma/Myanmar in the Daily Telegraph, a parody Twitter account pretending to be from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and dozens of YouTube videos were also blocked. –