Technological Fascism at its Peak

In a huge recent fascist move, the Department of Telecom has blocked over 32 commonly used websites in India, including GitHub, Pastebin, Dailymotion, Vimeo, and Archive. Some of these websites are already blocked by most of the ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and the rest are supposed to follow the orders from DoT very soon.

32 websites blocked in India by DoT, Government of India

Img source: techone3.in

The ‘reason’, however not officially remarked about, behind this move is widely spread as to prevent threats from ISIS. The terrorists are said to be using these websites for their content sharing and hence pervading their vested interests among the citizens. When things have a tag of national security, banning them has become a trend. That’s what happened in this case too; ban them all – easy!

Of the 32 websites, GitHub is a widely used programming-cum-version controlling system/website. Programmers from around the globe are used to push their codes to this website and share it with others in the lot. It has been a widely used tool by the general programming community. Many companies use the GitHub platform for their code sharing/version controlling purposes. Blocking GitHub is like incrusting a commonly used well in a village. People do get stuck. Do ISIS use a code sharing platform for terrorist purposes? Really?

Pastebin, CodePad, JustPaste, etc. are there amongst the blocked websites. These are some of the leading text/code sharing websites which allow users to paste their text onto a page which can be shared with others. There are thousands of websites, if the ISIS would want to use, which can be used for sharing texts (including a Google doc, for example). What would have prompted the DoT to block just these out of the pool? Are the ISIS guys communicate with the world in JAVA, C/C++, Python, etc. instead of English/Arabic, huh?

Archive.org is another prey to this wildest fantasy of some technological kid at DoT. The website offers digitalized materials over the web, inter alia, a website archiving feature known as WayBackMachine. This features gives the user an opportunity to go back to a past date to see how a particular website looked like on that date. Blocking such a website is lame to the core, whatever be the case!

List of Websites blocked

List of Websites blocked

The list continues with Weebly.com – a popular free website creation tool (there are a million others out there!), Vimeo – a video sharing platform, dailymotion, etc. If the government is to block all the like ones, it would mean our country becomes another North Korea. As long as the DoT does not give an affordable and cognizable justification as to why these websites are blocked, the move cannot be but called a child’s play. When the DoT cannot prevent terrorists from using a particular website, they simply block it from everyone. That’s what we call fascist!

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