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The (Real) Final Frontier

"Space, the fina-" oops, sorry, wrong frontier! The frontier in question here is the internet. As you probably know if you have been following this blog fairly regularly (and if you haven't, why haven't you?), I'm a big fan of free speech and all that good stuff. I'm also a big fan of being able to use the internet freely. Don't get me wrong - I hate DDoSers as much as the next guy - but I think I ought to be able to access all the sites on the web. All of a sudden, though, the geniuses over at the Department of Telecom have gone and implemented censorship!

The DoT has been implementing some serious censorship lately, but I probably don't need to tell you that. Of course, many of the blocked sites host copyrighted material, so I don't particularly mind them censoring that (actually, I do, but let's pretend I'm not so Modi doesn't send his hitmen after me). However, blocking Adf.ly, a URL shortening service, of all things, seems a bit much to me. Incidentally, this isn't the first time the DoT has done this - they've been censoring our internet access for ages.

India isn't the only country to have censorship, either. China does it as well, but the Chinese can't really complain because they have a Communist government and they can't say a word against it (What Karl was thinking when he came up with that, I'd like to know). Pakistan does it too. Now India has joined the club. Personally, I think this is probably unconstitutional and, worse, very poorly done. Absolutely anyone who's fairly decent with computers can simply circumvent this censorship. If you're going to do something that people don't like, either don't do it or make sure it takes more than 15 minutes of a 15-year-old's time to get through!

Incidentally, India is using the Netsweeper service, the same one Pakistan is using, to block sites. Perhaps this is a way to show Pakistan that we want to be friends - by emulating them (perhaps we could emulate them by getting some decent bowlers on our cricket teams as well, but that's another matter).

Call me anti-government, but I somehow don't think that what we can and cannot access on the internet should be dictated by a bunch of old farts who think that "Sanskriti" is a principle for governance and not the name of a possible future girlfriend. Now if you don't mind, I have some censorship bypassing to do... Hola!

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