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Clandestine Internet Censorship in India 134

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the too-hot-for-your-screen dept.
nooyi86 writes "China and the Middle East block sites in order to suppress political or social dissent. Website blocking in India, on the other hand, is driven by national security-related paranoia, or hate speech that may lead to violence. The state must save its citizens from propaganda of both the extreme right and the extreme left. Shivam Vij has posted a comprehensive profile of Internet censorship in India."
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Clandestine Internet Censorship in India

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    We should ask ourselves if western governments should allow western companies (Google) to support censorship by building this into products.

    http://www.verkiezingen2006.nl/ [verkiezingen2006.nl]

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by danbeck (5706)
      Why? What would this accomplish, other than government getting it's filthy hands deeper into the private sector?

      From the stand point of the US, our constitution protects us from government censorship of political dissent, in the form of speech and in the right to assemble. That protection does not extend to the right for the federal goverment to tell a company what content they can and can not serve it's customers.

      Google can not censor what our constitution guarantees, only the goverment can do that. It'
      • by lessthan (977374)
        Why is this modded flamebait? This is what you do if you want a change in society. Last I checked we are, theoretically, living in a capitalistic society, not a socialistic one. Why do we keep asking the government to intervene?
        • by danbeck (5706)
          It's modded flaimbait because the typical Slashdot denizen is a socialist and worse, many are Stalinists. They regularly confuse the rights acknowledged in the 1st amendment with their own personal wishlist of behavior they think should be outlawed.

          Simply put, their idea of change in society starts with government first, instead of changing peoples hearts and minds. What they don't understand is that the government is supposed to represent what's already in the people's hearts and minds, not dictate what
    • CALEA -- Because there's no reason the communists and corrupt despots should have all the fun.
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @09:55AM (#16348103) Journal
    Does intent matter?

    Even the article summary says it - this is not censorship for political means, it is to prevent inciting violence.

    I am 100% for "free speech", but even in the US you "can't yell fire in a theater".

    In the US you can freely spew "hate speech", and most people ignore it, as they should.

    But is there a different standard, based on the local population? Clearly there are some places in the world where the people are culturally less likey to ignore perceived insults. Should the "don't yell fire" rule be adapted for the locale?

    In the West you can do something offense like piss christ [wikipedia.org] and not get a village burned down.

    Can you say the same where you are? Should you be able to?

    Let's see who has the balls to come up with "Piss Mohammed". Ask a certain Danish cartoonist if he would like to try. Ask him if he would like to do it in a village in India.

    Everything is not black and white - there are shades of grey and lots of other colors too.

    • by wannabgeek (323414) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:03AM (#16348159) Journal
      Whatever you say may be true. As I see it, the bigger problem here is not the blocking, but the clandestine way the government can go about it and the fact that the government (ie., the executive and the beauracracy) not being answerable to anyone. A single beuracrat can do this all by himself without needing a permission from judiciary or even legislature. Yes, if it becomes an issue they may step back if it seems to hurt the government politically, but the rules do not prevent the government from acting on its own.

      Just a little while back, blogspot was banned. It became a huge issue and so the government directed the ISPs to lift the block. Once the ban was lifted on blogspot, people were content. Nobody asked the government what justification it had to block the various sites and the government did not even bother to issue a clarification about why it did what it did.
      • by libkarl2 (1010619)
        Nobody asked the government what justification it had to block the various sites and the government did not even bother to issue a clarification about why it did what it did.

        Those who do ask the government why it did something stupid/evil/dishonest/embarassing rarely get a straight answer.
      • by iqeaten (961308)
        This is probably the intelligent way to do it. Banning or blocking something publicly has the counterproductive side-effect of actually drawing attention to what is being banned. My first reaction when I read about the Mohammed cartoons was to try to Google them to find out just what it was in them that caused all the offense. It is hardly a good idea to draw so much of attention to something that the advocates of a ban want to suppress.
        • I have seen this comment elsewhere too - that by doing it publicly they are drawing more attention to it. It does not have to be public, it can be obtaining the permission before (or approval within a certain timeperiod) from a court or judge. This can be kept official secret.

          We need an EFF or the equivalent in India. Their biggest challenge would not be to fight the government but educating the public and fighting the status quo public opinion about individual liberties. The police routinely submit cellpho
      • FYI

        Blogspot was NOT banned - not in its entirity! The ISPs were asked to ban just a few blogs on blogspot. Some ISPs misunderstood and blocked the whole of Blogspot.
    • You should be able to say what you want, and let other people draw their own conclusions about what you're saying. That said, schools should focus a lot more on developing critical thinking skills, so people won't be so easily influenced by bullshit.
    • by Max von H. (19283) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:50AM (#16348479) Homepage
      The USA: 280 millions ppl, somewhat educated for the most part.
      India: 1 billion+ ppl, out of which a big bunch are poor and uneducated.

      Educated people mostly disregard hate speech ('they know better') but we've all seen the kind of mass hysteria that can go through the poor/illiterates, whether it's in South-East Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, a football stadium or in Kentuky.

      I can't stand censorship, but I don't believe hate speech should be tolerated, especially when the targeted audience doesn't 'know any better', for it leads to a form of wide scale brain-washing. Hate speech goes against the very idea of freedom and equality, why should it be tolerated? Theft is against our principles and isn't tolerated, calling for hate and murder shouldn't be either. Hate speech is what's used on populaces to spur wars and, ultimately, makes the bed for extreme dictatorships.

      I don't think the exercise of freedom should require the ability to destroy what's taken centuries to achieve just to satisfy some ignorant, frustrated, deranged wannabe-dictators.

      Note that I live in a country where hate/racist/negationist speech is forbidden by law and I for one find myself a lot more free than if the stupidest branch of the gene pool was able to get its way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by scheme (19778)

        The USA: 280 millions ppl, somewhat educated for the most part. India: 1 billion+ ppl, out of which a big bunch are poor and uneducated.
        Educated people mostly disregard hate speech ('they know better') but we've all seen the kind of mass hysteria that can go through the poor/illiterates, whether it's in South-East Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, a football stadium or in Kentuky.

        You're also ignoring the fact that the US hasn't had any recent incidents of major religious strife. India has had something lik

        • by Lally Singh (3427)
          Um.. the last major string of killing in India I can remember was in the mid 80s. It's a lot more recent than most people think.
          • Two words: Gujarat Massacre [economist.com]. 2000 minority Muslims killed by Hindu mobs in 2002, while police even helped in some cases. The trials and finger-pointing are still ongoing.

            Babri mosque [wikipedia.org] destroyed by Hindu mob in 1992, thousands die nationwide in resulting violence.

            I'm kinda surprised you don't know about these, considering your name is Singh.

      • I can't stand censorship, but I don't believe hate speech should be tolerated

        Obviously you can stand censorship, since you're calling for it in your post.

        You can legitimately "un-tolerate" it by speaking out against it, by pointing out the rascists, homophobes, et cetera, are idiots.

        You cannot legitimately point guns at people to make them shut up.

        • You can legitimately "un-tolerate" it by speaking out against it, by pointing out the rascists, homophobes, et cetera, are idiots.

          "Rascists", "homophobes", "idiots", why is it that the bulk of ad hominem arguments comes from "the nice people"?. In most cases, what your dealing with is a "Nationalist" (someone who distrusts certain nationalites because of cultural characteristics) or someone who contempt the homosexual lifestyle, rather than fearing homosexuals and someone who's parranoid rather than stu

          • by JP205 (263673)
            nationalist
            - noun
            1. a person devoted to nationalism.
            2. a member of a political group advocating or fighting for national independence, a strong national government, etc.
            -adjective
            3. Also, nationalistic. of, pertaining to, or promoting nationalism: the beginnings of a nationalist movement.
            4. of, pertaining to, or noting a political group advocating or fighting for national independence, a strong national government, etc.

            -- http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Nationali st [reference.com]

            Nope, that's not it... Perhaps yo
            • The definition you provided is absolutely correct. A nationalist is a person devoted to nationalism. Nationalism is belief in the importance of the welfare of one's own nation. A nation is a social contruct based on culture and identity. Thus a nationalist promotes the welfare of those with the same culture and identity as them. Thus a nationalist does not promote the welfare of those who do not. You can't just quote a dictionary entry and if it doesn't mention a charactaristic then that charactaristic does

          • In most cases, what your dealing with is a "Nationalist" (someone who distrusts certain nationalites because of cultural characteristics)

            No, nationalism [wikipedia.org] is a different stupid idea. Whether the bigotry based on national origin of which you speak is best labeled racism, ethnocentrism, xenophobia, or whatever, is an academic point irrevelvant to this discussion.

            or someone who contempt the homosexual lifestyle, rather than fearing homosexuals and someone who's parranoid rather than stupid.

            There's no s

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by Max von H. (19283)
          You cannot legitimately point guns at people to make them shut up.

          Who's calling for guns?

          The point is not to kill or maim the ones who practice hate speech, but to keep them off the air with the help of the law. In Europe, where hate speech is precisely defined and condemned by law in most countries, a dimwit like Pat Robertson wouldn't be able to spead his hate through TV and radio, even the web. What's wrong with it? Would you condone some neo-nazi ideology being aired on prime-time TV, solely on the pret
          • Who's calling for guns?

            All government power comes out of the barrel of a gun. (Ok, occasionally there's a billy club involved.) That's why soldiers, cops, and prison guards carry them. Each and every law is predicated on the threat of these guns to back it up.

            There's no way to have censorship that doesn't ultimately mean, "If you say certain things, armed agents of the government will use force to silence you." Censorship is violence.

            How would you like it if Al Qaeda were to open a TV channel and s

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Hate speech goes against the very idea of freedom and equality, why should it be tolerated?

        No it doesn't. Hate speech is a bunch of angry people being very, very offensive and trying to provoke a reaction out of their audience. That's all it is. If the crowd chooses to become violent because of it then the individuals who became violent are the ones really at fault.

        Placing all the blame on the rhetoric is just a cop out. People are responsible for their own actions and being drunk, angry or "under the spell

      • So where does Free Speech begin and Hate Speech begin. Funny I always thought your rights ended where my rights begin. For example you could preach that your followers could kill my peoples but you can't actually do it because doing so would violate my rights to Life, Liberty, and Prosperity.
        • by tftp (111690)
          Hate speech is very far reaching, and your request for non-violation of your personal rights is insufficient.

          As an example, you are a store owner, member of a proper religious sect $FOO. Life is good. Then some people start hate speech against your sect. For example, they imply that your sect sacrifices newborn babies and makes hamburgers out of them. Your store sells hamburgers. Suddenly you see fewer customers, and later on your store is firebombed. But not a single word, not a single action was ta

      • by Nutria (679911)
        Educated people mostly disregard hate speech ('they know better') but we've all seen the kind of mass hysteria that can go through the poor/illiterates, whether it's in South-East Asia, the Middle-East, Africa

        Like the poor, ignorant 9/11 hijackers?

        a football stadium or in Kentuky.

        Huh?
    • by shreevatsa (845645) <shreevatsa,slashdot&gmail,com> on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:52AM (#16348505)
      For those who doubt that this is really happening in India, here is conclusive proof:
      I'm in India, and I cannot access the article. In fact, I've seen this happen to many articles that Slashdot links to! ;-)


      BTW, the page gives a Wordpress error saying "Error establishing a database connection"... nevermind, it's back up again; maybe the guy was just fiddling with some settings.
    • But is there a different standard, based on the local population? Clearly there are some places in the world where the people are culturally less likey to ignore perceived insults. Should the "don't yell fire" rule be adapted for the locale?

      Indeed, India, while being a true democracy, is quite different culturally. For example, it has active laws criminalizing homosexuality, and there no intent to change them so far, because the people themselves are against it. I wonder if the people would actually suppor

    • I am 100% for "free speech", but even in the US you "can't yell fire in a theater".

      You can indeed yell "fire" in a theatre, if there happens to be fire, or if the circumstances are such that it's not going to cause a dangerous panic. (Penn Gillette does a great bit about this while juggling flaming torches - "Oh my god, FIRE! Oops, it went out".) The oft-cited restriction on yelling "fire!" is one of time and place of expression, not of content.

      But is there a different standard, based on the local po

    • by Tablizer (95088)
      In the US you can freely spew "hate speech", and most people ignore it, as they should. But is there a different standard, based on the local population? Clearly there are some places in the world where the people are culturally less likey to ignore perceived insults.

      Perhaps because they are not used to it. If you protect people from unpleasent stuff, then they cannot handle it when it comes. You have to build up tolerance like a muscule: if you don't excercise it, it atrophies and you are vulnerable.

      Not
    • Either way, let's protect freedom of thought. Putting the mechanisms into place to monitor and police thought and speech is not a good thing. For those of you who haven't heard yet, the DemocraKey [travelingforever.com] solves a whole lot of these problems. And it's free.
    • But is there a different standard, based on the local population? Clearly there are some places in the world where the people are culturally less likey to ignore perceived insults. Should the "don't yell fire" rule be adapted for the locale?

      You Americans might find this ironic, but the Indian Constitution, when it was first promulgated in 1950, actually had protection for context-free, free speech (meaning, free speech for free speech's sake without any restrictions whatsoever). The First Amendment, pro

    • Why point the finger at India, when the United States does the same. One way that we think is acceptable (and I agree) is to block porn sites, particularly child porn. The other filtering that is taking place is related to "security". Try to find information about local state issues. You will not find any. Since Bush's last bill regarding arrests without warrants or habias corpus, the USA has become a democratic version of a nazi government. Shame shame shame
  • ...it is still the restriction of free speech. While truly "free" speech doesn't exist, even in the US (you can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater for the fun of it), governments should strive, as much as possible, to maintain the free speech in as intact a form is as reasonably possible. This strikes me as very Orwellian in nature: Not only are they restricting the speech of several people and groups (based on very vaguely defined criteria) but also essentially curtailing their right to assemble. Personall
    • by nstlgc (945418)
      What's the use of having your citizens rights plainly defined if they're being plain ignored? I'm sure I don't need to sum up examples.
      • Please, do give examples of where our first amendment rights are being violated in a significant way?
      • by danbeck (5706)
        Give an example or STFU, please. This may sound like I'm trolling, but I'm dead serious. You just made the SERIOUS accusation that our rights as American citizens are being ignored, yet, I look around and I can't find that happening, anywhere.

        You do still have the freedom of speech to be an ignorant fuck and say what you just said, don't you?
        • by nstlgc (945418)
          I strongly suggest you read up on the USA PATRIOT Act and watch the news every now and then (supposing you get the same stuff we do). Or don't you consider eavesdropping without permission to be a violation of your rights?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by fishbowl (7759)

          >You do still have the freedom of speech to be an ignorant fuck and say what you just said, don't you?

          I know of a few situations where freedom of assembly is abridged, but in general I agree with you.

          You cannot gather together with 75 other ignorant fucks on public land without getting permission from the government first. And you cannot do this at all unless you are willing and able to designate one of those 75 people as an individual who can take responsibility for the entire group. This sounds reaso
          • by danbeck (5706)

            You cannot gather together with 75 other ignorant fucks on public land without getting permission from the government first....

            I'm sorry, but this is nothing new. It's common to nearly every city and county in the US that you need a permit to assemble in groups over some arbitrary amount. Reasons range from public safety, respect for the rights of others citizens or keeping riots or mobs from taking place. i.e. You can't just take over a park or city block and deny others the right to use it without firs

            • by fishbowl (7759)
              >I don't quite see the goverment requiring a permit from 75 people wanting to have a party

              Who said anything about a party? You just participated in marginalizing the need for freedom of assembly.

    • by mudeth (1010263)
      I wasn't able to read the article; it gives me a DNS error. Is it being censored? whois fails, proxies aren't working; his server must have choked from traffic, and he must have taken it down. His nameserver's in India too, so there's a possibility of it being blocked. An online whois worked, though. I've mailed him requesting for a text. The main thing about India is that people tend to be very groupist, probably because of the large number of groups we have here, some of which have histories of conflict.
      • by Slithe (894946)

        Will it allow you to post anti-semitic words?

        Let's see. "Fucking Jews; they are responsible for all the wars in the world."

        Hmm. The filters must be down or something.

        If I say N*gro, will my comment be deleted? I think it will; most sites have moderators, and it makes sense.

        I think the word you are looking for is 'Nigger', and it has never stopped the GNAA from using it here. The difference is that Slashdot is a privately owned site, and they can place whatever restrictions they want (within reason) on thei

        • by mudeth (1010263)
          Alright, so it isn't automatically filtered. But that doesn't mean that a person who posts messages like these and means them in principle (not as an example) will be allowed to do so. If someone posts something that is universally considered offensive or stupid, his post will:

          - either be gunned down by the moderator,
          - or he'll get a lot of vile replies,
          - or he won't be commented upon,
          - OR he'll offend a certain segment of people unnecessarily.
          If the first three happen, it's cool. If the last does, a
      • Mudeth, see http://nannyindia.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • e'osai ko sarji la lojban
  • Hmmm...The link is dead, but does not appear to be Slashdotted as it responses quickly to a ping. Is this a case of dynamic cencorship in action?

    More seriously, given the trend towards totalitarianism here in the U.S. I won't be surprised when this sort of thing begins here. After all, what better way to control a population than to deprive the people of information, particularly information that reflects badly on the government? Anyone want to start a pool about when this begins here in the U.S.?

    Just my
    • Article Text (Score:5, Informative)

      by cyxxon (773198) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:54AM (#16348523) Homepage
      Had trouble getting this, others obviously as well, so here it is.

      ---

      The Discreet Charms of the Nanny State
      Published by Shivam Vij October 6th, 2006 in The Internet and bylines.

      Books and films are banned as a result of protests when someone claims to be offended, but websites are blocked unilaterally, clandestinely by the government in its benign attempt to save you from propaganda of both the extreme left and the extreme right.

      An edited version of this article by me has appeared in Tehelka.

      On 29 June this year, the Department of Telecom of the Ministry of India's Communication and Information Technology asked some 150 Internet Servive Providers to block access to the website of the People's War Group, www.geocities.com/cpimlpwg. Exactly a month later, the DoT issues another letter informing ISPs that "M/S Yahoo! Inc." (which runs Geocities) had removed the PWG site anyway, and so all ISPs were requested to make sure that Geocities per se was not blocked.

      This is the first time a provider of Internet services has agreed to the Indian government's demand of completely removing a particular website, thus establishing a dangerous precedent. Yahoo!, Google and Microsoft do this regularly for China and other countries, with the difference that it is public knowledge there, and these companies come under attack from free speech activists the world over.

      It is curious as to what made Yahoo! Change its mind about India: in 2003 they had refused the India's demand to remove a mailing list run on Yahoo! Groups by a banned militant outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a militant outfit of the Khasi tribe in Meghalaya.

      The terms and conditions of these online services - which no one reads - clearly say that they may terminate their services on requests by law enforcement or other government agencies without prior notice.

      On 15 May 2006, the Maoist website www.peoplesmarch.com was deleted by their hosting company on the request of the Indian government. Not that it has made much of a difference to them: they're now at http://peoplesmarch.googlepages.com/ [googlepages.com] whose homepage asserts their right to free speech and condemns India's censorship attempts. So how long before this site gets blocked too? To be sure they have put up all their content on http://peoplesmarch.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com] as well. Planning to block this one too? They have the content stored somewhere on their hard disk and they'll put it up on a thousand free sites. There's also http://naxalrevolution.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] and many more.

      The most illustrative case of Internet censorship in India is that of Hinduunity.org, which, though run from the US by one Rohit Vyasmaan, claims to be the official website of the Bajrang Dal. The Hindu Unity site posts anti-Muslim hate speech, creative interpretation of Qur'anic verses and most famously, a "hit list" of those who it says are against Hindus. The hit list has on it not just leftist columnists but also people and organisations who in India would be regarded as being somewhat sympathetic to Hindutva. Lalu Prasad Yadav is listed for "swindling Gau-chara's money"!

      In 2001, the site's then host in the US, Addr.com, received complaints about the site. Vyasmaan told Addr.com that his site did not advocate violence, but they shut down the site anyway for its very obvious hate speech. As it happened, Hinduunity.org was then rescued by Rabbi Meir's Kahane group, a banned Zionist organisation in the US. Hinduunity now advocates "Hindu militancy" on its site, and heavily aligns with the anti-Palestine cause. No wonder it is block in countries of the Middle East as well.

      Hinduunity.org was first blocked by India in 2004, when the NDA was in power and when the site was calling Atal Bihari Vajpayee names for 'catching the pseudo-secularism bug'. Curiously, in July 2006 the DoT again asked for
      • by makomk (752139)
        Clandestine blocking isn't nice, but it's probably not exclusive to India either. When 4chan.org [slashdot.org]'s /b/ board got onto the Internet Watch Foundation's list of banned sites (supposed to be only for child porn sites, and filtered by several UK ISPs - a law has been passed that will eventually require all UK ISPs to block the sites on the list), allegedly certain UK ISPs (BT and NTL) used stealth blocking techniques such as fake 404s and redirecting to the site's own "banned" message. (Incidentally, the IWF app
    • by Xyrus (755017) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @11:35AM (#16348771) Journal
      After all, what better way to control a population than to deprive the people of information, particularly information that reflects badly on the government? Anyone want to start a pool about when this begins here in the U.S.?

      Apparently, it's working quite well already.

      ~X~
    • by Kongming (448396)
      "...what better way to control a population than to deprive the people of information..."

      Easy. Provide the people with an overabundance of bad information. Then each individual will believe the "facts" that correspond to their previously held beliefs/alliegances. They will naturally tend to polarize, and will then be easily manipulated into taking sides in simulated "conflicts" that happen to solidify or increase the political power of both sides of the issue.

      We can see this pattern to an extent right now i
      • by morleron (574428)
        An interesting idea. However, I think that Occam's Razor probably comes down on the side of blocking information as it's easier to do that than it is to create false information. However, you do have a good point because people who aren't able to think critically and don't really know how to do research (both things that our "education system" is very bad at) can certainly be misled by being encouraged to believe that information that comes from "your side" of an argument is always true, while that from t
    • by anon101 (972986)
      Anyone want to start a pool about when this begins here in the U.S.?

      How are you going to tell when it happens? If they leave enough varied sites on the web people may not notice the extrme ones that they are filtering.

      Yes if tommorrow the removed /. from existance I would notice (sooner or later), if however they modified all /. pages and removed certian articles, how would I know? Unless of course I viewed the page from outside the filter (or routed the request securely via a machine outside the filter
  • This need not necessarily be bad. I am an Indian and I am living in Hyderabad. Some politicians regularly instigate people against each other on religious or caste basis (e.g. Muslims against Hindus, Hindus against Christians etc. or within Hindus, across upper and lower castes). Since India is unique in that there is representation of almost every major religion in the world, some politicians or people close to them try to use this to create unrest (in extreme cases, riots) and try to use it for some upcom
    • "Since India is unique in that there is representation of almost every major religion in the world..."

      That's weird, I thought unique meant one-of-a-kind. But, and I'm not trying to be smug here, I always thought the United States of America had representation of almost every major religion in the world too... possibly as much or more than India?

      Anyway, that point aside, I generally liked your post.

      TLF
      • by Vishal (29839)
        "That's weird, I thought unique meant one-of-a-kind. But, and I'm not trying to be smug here, I always thought the United States of America had representation of almost every major religion in the world too... possibly as much or more than India?"

        In India the President is Muslim, the Prime Minister is Sikh, the leader of the majority party is a Catholic woman and the country is majority Hindu. I think the US has a long ways to go before anything remotely close is seen. Representation means a lot more than e
        • "Since India is unique in that there is representation of almost every major religion in the world..."

          You didn't clearly specify that representation meant "governmental officials of that religion", hence the confusion.

          As far as representation in the population, U.S. wins that one. As far as gov reps: Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Unitarian, Scientologist, Quaker, Unspecified...

          Don't get all high and mighty.

          http://www.adherents.com/adh_congress.html#109 [adherents.com]
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by aquiltar (771588)
            Yes, but someone Jewish or Muslim might see Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Orthodox Unitarian and Quaker as being nearly the same. And will you deny that Christian sects don't feel some kind of unity as Christians versus non-Christians, us versus them? There are sects and castes among Hindus too, and if you really want me to draw an analogy between the sects of Christianity and those of Hinduism (and the intra-religious conflicts), I will. But people don't tout the government representation of various sects a
            • America is about 80% Christian, 1% Jewish, 10% other. The religious conflict in the country is mostly about anti-Islam and anti-Judaism -- both groups are in a severe minority, and Muslims are in a power-minority, and you _don't_ see people commiting arson and murder out of religious hate.

              Religious hate between different parts of Christianity is common in the USA. Arson and murder does happen. Think about the bombing of abortion clinics. Most of us think our countries are unique in some way. we are more al

            • Sure there's arson and murder out of religious hate in America. Anti-Muslim hate crimes are at record levels [cair.com] in America, numerous mosques have burned down since Oklahoma City, 9/11, and the Iraq war, and gunmen opened fire on a filled Florida mosque in September. Anti-Muslim and anti-Islam rhetoric fills the airwaves in America, but it's accepted (unlike anti-Semitism).
              • by aquiltar (771588)
                Right. Which reiterates my original point. How would America deal with a Muslim in a high governmental post now?
            • by tehcyder (746570)
              America is about 80% Christian, 1% Jewish, 10% other
              What happened to the other 9%?
          • by RLiegh (247921) *
            >As far as representation in the population, U.S. wins that one. As far as gov reps: Jewish, Catholic, Baptist, Unitarian, Scientologist, Quaker, Unspecified...

            Think again; you're basically saying that there are Jewish, Christian and 'unspecified'. That's *three*. Sorry, but different sects of the christian faith are still *christian*.

            If we had buddhists, muslims and pagans as representatives also, THEN we would be on a par with india; but at this point, we don't.
  • Alternate link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Skapare (16644) on Saturday October 07, 2006 @10:52AM (#16348507) Homepage

    Here is an alternate link [tehelka.com] since it appears the original site has been emptied.

  • In America... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by creimer (824291)
    The Extreme Left and Extreme Right should should French Kiss themselves to death to let the Extreme Moderates run this country. The World would be better off.
    • The Extreme Left and Extreme Right

      The problem you face there is that, in the US, you don't seem to have "extreme left". I hear very little "middle left", or whatever it is called, on /.

      There is plenty evidence of liberalism here. This is not left wing though. Liberalism is the open minded half-way house between the left and the right. Anything to the right of that is by definition right of centre.

    • by Tablizer (95088)
      Militant Moderate, eh? Belongs in the "Man Bites Dog" section.
  • It could also be that the Indian Govt. is blocking sites in a clandestine fashion to prevent unduly publicising such inflammatory sites. FTFA, blocking a particular site will only make the webmasters move the site elsewhere, because there's no such thing as a 'ban' in the internet. now, if the indian govt. were to inform the public that they blocked www.badpropaganda.org, it will only make more people take notice of the site, google for it and read it wherever it is (certainly) moved to.

    I do respect the c

  • I dislike people yelling "censorship" or "piracy" then they really mean banning or unauthorized copying. The exaggeration merely betrays how weak they know thier case is.

    India has a right (and perhaps legal duty) to prevent undesireable material from entering the country. The Internet is not a free pass around Customs.

    • by l0cust (992700)
      India has a right (and perhaps legal duty) to prevent undesireable material from entering the country. The Internet is not a free pass around Customs.
      India != A small group in power.
      The key words are clandestine usage and abuse. Think about it before you let the defensive posture get the better of your senses.
      • by redelm (54142)
        Last I checked, India was a "democracy", which implies a certain level of legitimacy for the denizens of it's power structures. Of course that also means that an oscillating half or more people object to government actions. If a pleurality of Indians really didn't want any govt meddling in a given area, they'd make it unconstitutional. No griping over targets when meddling is accepted.

        As for "clandestine", there are multiple interpretations possible. As a rule, Customs does not announce seizures unless

        • by nooyi86 (1010541)
          blocking of sites is not censorship? what is censorship?
          • by redelm (54142)
            Ah, glad you asked: censorship is mutilation of a work of art to remove elements the censor deems undesireable while substantially preserving the rest of the work.

            The FCC practices censorship by extortion on radio licencees. They have to air songs with the expletives deleted.

            • by nooyi86 (1010541)
              The definition of censorship is not that narrow:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship [wikipedia.org]
              • by redelm (54142)
                The wiki is a useful source, but hardly definitive, especially on controversial items. I agree the term "censorship" is abused, much as "piracy" in a software context is.

                Please check a more traditional source of defintions, like a print dictionary.

            • by unitron (5733)
              "They have to air songs with the expletives deleted."

              No, they don't. They can choose to not air them at all.

              "The FCC practices censorship by extortion on radio licencees."

              Extortion? Are you sure that word properly expresses what you're trying to say?

              The airwaves belong to the people, all of the people, which means that there has to be a way for them to be shared. That's why broadcasters are granted a license to operate "in the public interest", not just granted a license because they outbid everyone else

  • I haven't found any problem with the "blocking" so far. The govt. doesn't block domains, its the stupid ISPs and the spelling mistakes are because of the tranlation, sound-to-words. The babu [govt. officer] who takes this down [for issuing a memo/circular] doesnt go that site and check it out!! I just wish they would make morons who make similar statements disappear!! I wish... ~Indian
    • by nooyi86 (1010541)
      The govt does block domains. 20 or so blocked at the momemnt
      • My bad! It did with the reasons mentioned though! To be generic, govt bans content!
        • by nooyi86 (1010541)
          No, the govt orders ISPs to block domains where one or more webpages have been found to have content that the govt thinks are 'anti-national'.
  • The article mentions some of the (I think it was 19?) blogs that were recently banned in India. These include "The Jawa Report", "Merri Musings", and "My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" (bamapachyderm.com). It says that they "have anti-Muslim hate speech in varying degrees".

    That's not entirely accurate.

    The Jawa Report is an anti-Islamist blog, and undoubtedly would be offensive to some Muslims.

    My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy isn't focused on Islamism to the same degree, but does comment on it.

    Merri Musings bare
    • by nooyi86 (1010541)
      what else is the meaning of "varying degrees"?
      • by SQL Error (16383)
        The article says that the blogs "have anti-Muslim hate speech in varying degrees".

        For that to be true, the net for "hate speech" (a term I thoroughly loathe) must be cast so wide as to include every element of human discourse. For any reasonable definition of "hate speech", the statement is untrue.

        Your call.
  • The only part that I find disconcerting is the lack of accountability. The internet isn't really a medium that gets out to a majority of the people in the country. I'd be more concerned about censorship in newspapers, TV and arts. However, the fact that these guys can get away without having to explain why, is scary. It isn't just that the government isn't telling us why, the problem is, very few people are asking and following through. I believe the furore over the initial ban was a start. The follow thro
  • My site is down because of slashdotting. I have put up the article at http://nannyindia.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] Cowboy Neal, can you please change the link in your post so that the traffic subsides and I am able to put my blog back up?

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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