Anti-censorship software compromised with spyware


Popular Iranian proxy software found to include Trojan that reports user data

Tags: Cyber crime,  Iran,  Malware,  Syria

Anti-censorship software compromised with spywareA compromised version of the Simurgh proxy has been sending user data to a remote site registered with a Saudi ISP.
By Mark SuttonPublished June 3, 2012

A popular web proxy in use by Iranians and Syrians to bypass web censorship has been compromised, according researchers at the University of Toronto.

The Iranian-developed Simurgh standalone proxy, has been widely used in Iran to bypass web censorship and to allow the user to browse anonymously, but in compromised versions downloaded from the 4Shared file sharing service, an additional Trojan has been added to steal user data.

Security researcher Morgan Marquis-Boire, wrote in a blog post: “This Trojan has been specifically crafted to target people attempting to evade government censorship. Given the intended purpose of this software, users must be very careful if they have been infected by this Trojan”

The university researchers discovered the back door after making a closer examination of Simurgh as it has been growing in popularity among Syrians. The Trojan includes a keystroke logger, and appears to be sending data via HTTP post request to a remote site registered with a Saudi Arabian ISP.

Researchers say most anti-virus software should detect the Trojan, but if a user does detect an infection, they should assume that any sensitive data and accounts accessed via that PC may have been compromised and users should change passwords. The Simurgh website is also warning users to check their PCs.


INDIFFERENCE TO INTERNET –Apathetic state #censorship


Javed Anwer | June 2, 2012, TOI Crest

 

Two weeks ago, millions of perplexed internet users in India woke up to discover that they had been suddenly cut off from a clutch of very popular file-sharing and video websites. This was ostensibly done to ‘protect copyright’ and involved an Indian film body, a court order and internet service providers (ISPs). Indian cyberspace erupted with indignation. As later reported, there was much that was arbitrary about the action. It also raises some fundamental questions about regulating the internet in India.
In this latest instance, there were also, initially, no clear answers as to who cut off access to these websites? A notice telling users that ‘this website has been blocked as per DoT orders, ‘ appeared first. DoT apparently meant Department of Telecom. After a couple of days the message was changed to ‘the website has been blocked as per a court order. ‘ DoT later clearly denied it had issued any such order. And here lies one part of the problem.

No internet service provider (ISP) bothered to explain which court order, or what the issue at hand was. In fact, Indian ISPs have been blocking and unblocking websites on the basis of broad and rather vague court orders against piracy for a while now. This is clearly problematic, as there appears to be no system or detailed governmental guidelines in place to do such things.

At first glance, it seems logical. A court ordered the blocking of some websites and lawabiding ISPs complied. But it is not so simple. This whole saga is also a sordid tale of how casually the Indian government and ISPs treat the issue of web access in India, perhaps a fundamental right of sorts across the globe now. It also shows the lack of a proper system of wellthought out state oversight over the very firms tasked with connecting Indians to the internet.

In this case, the Madras high court only issued an order against a specific case of piracy. It didn’t order that websites be blocked. CERTIN, the nodal government agency in question, did not issue any directives to ISPs in this case. And the Chennai-based firm that filed the lawsuit later claimed it never asked anyone to block complete websites – only that access to some specific web links on these sites be cut off.

Clearly, ISPs seem to wield arbitrary powers in India, either due to poorly-framed IT rules that were notified last April, or because of the apathy that the concerned ministries seem to display on the matter. ISPs (most of whom are also big telecom companies) behave this way because they neither seem to be accountable to consumers nor to the government, on the vital matter of free and unfettered access to the net (bound by reasonable restrictions, of course) which is what consumers are paying for.

Blocking websites is a serious matter. Done the wrong way, it is tantamount to trampling on free speech. The UN has said that free and open access to the web is a human right. Countries like Finland have even made it a legal right for their citizens. And free speech matters greatly to mature democracies tackling similar issues. Consider how when US legislators were debating their Stop Online Piracy Act, which allowed for something like what ISPs did in India, President Obama threatened to veto the act if it was passed.

No one denies that there are problems with the web. But the solution to these problems does not lie with our ISPs being willing to play trigger-happy cops. The internet is inherently disruptive technology. Copyright piracy, for instance, is a serious issue and must be dealt with carefully. In the digital world it is very difficult to sort issues out in a black and white fashion. That’s the main reason why the same websites blocked in India continue to be available in most other countries, including the US – where the most stringent copyright and anti-piracy laws in the world are enforced.

But in India, state indifference to understanding the internet appears to be the biggest problem. Besides, the government keeps going off on other tangents. For instance, Kapil Sibal, our telecom minister, has been going on about how the web should be regulated. Shouldn’t he be talking about how the web in India can be kept free instead? His ministry, instead of devising ways to monitor social media websites, should be working to create a framework where intermediaries like website owners and ISPs don’t abuse the power they have over users. Instead of worrying about Twitter, shouldn’t the government be working to create institutions and net watchdogs (on the lines of TRAI perhaps) that make sure Indians can access the internet freely?

If websites had been blocked arbitrarily in the West, ISPs would have been sued or penalised by government watchdogs. They would have been hounded by courts for abusing a just order. But not in India – a pity for a country that claims to be among the world’s most vibrant democracies.

Anonymous does not mean you are doing illegal stuff- Anonymous INDIA


The collective is planning physical, non-violent protests across Indian cities on 9 June

Surabhi Agarwal

New Delhi: Internet activist group Anonymous, which has been attacking Indian websites, has further planned such attacks from 9 June to protest censorship of content in the country. It has also demanded the unblocking of file-sharing websites in India. The government says it’s prepared to deal with the online attacks and protests, besides seeking to arrest the members of the self-proclaimed collective. In a group interview, some members of Anonymous India spoke about the protest and how they work. The interview took place over web chat and involved multiple members of the group, all of whom maintained their anonymity. The collective is planning physical, non-violent protests across Indian cities on 9 June.

Edited excerpts:

What are your plans for 9 June?

Be a physical, visible presence. Make it clear that we oppose this censorship and we want our Internet back.

You are informing people through Facebook pages about the protests, but are also asking them to take police permission? Who will take the lead?

The administrators of respective FB (Facebook) groups, many of them are working on that already. People volunteer. Anonymous does not mean you are doing illegal stuff….We have lots of support from people in the IT (information technology) industry and students. A few offered to get (permission).

File-sharing websites have been blocked in India in the past as well. What was the trigger for your attack this time?

Blocking of many sites at the beginning of this month. Censorship was the trigger, but more than that, arbitrary, unjust measures. To block access to millions, because there could be illegal content is not acceptable. Also, people should have the right to decide what is moral to them and what is immoral.

Are more attacks on websites in the offing?

Yes. Defacing and leaks are also in progress.

The order to block file-sharing sites was made by a court at the request of private companies. So why are you targeting government websites?

The government has created laws and support for censorship that are getting used. Who will monitor? Whose responsibility is it to protect rights of people? Why create methods of censorship you can’t control? Today, we have the IT rules, where intermediaries have to take down content based on notifications. How can this be monitored? Who knows what gets taken down to avoid hassles? It is the government’s responsibility to make wise laws.

How do you operate? How do you choose which issues to take up?

By voting. Usually someone brings up an idea, creates the channel, gives information and invites and advertises. For example, Mamata Banerjee imprisoned cartoonists: vote goes up (for a situation like this), and accordingly, we take action.

How do you recruit members to your group?

It is not a group. It is an idea. If you think like us, you already are part of us.

Since everybody’s identity is anonymous, how do you sift between fake and genuine?

If you are fake, you will be exposed. We don’t monitor. We just communicate, on Twitter or just through this IRC (Internet relay chat) network.

How do members manage time for such coordinated attacks, considering all of you have day jobs?

Yes, some of us have jobs. We come online whenever we can. No more personal questions.

The government is trying to track members of Anonymous and claims to be close.

Good luck. They have been (doing so) from the start. There are too many of us. They will not be able to get us all. The ones who are captured are the ones who make mistakes.

Are you saying it won’t matter if they get through to some of you?

We never know the identity of another, so even if one gets caught, all they get are usernames. No, it won’t matter.

So you guys are not scared of police action?

We are. As all are protesters. Some things are bigger than fears. But we have removed the idea of what would happen if we get caught.

Do you think this idea that drives you is bigger than the trouble that could follow?

Yes. It’s always been that way and always will be. It is worth it. Freedom is important, for us, and for the generations to come after us.

What is that one big idea that drives all of you?

Freedom—it’s the biggest idea.

Are attacks such as Operation India coordinated by the central unit of Anonymous?

No, all are decentralized. There is no centre, no head.

So you are independent?

Yes, but the target will be discussed usually, so a democratic system is in place. There is consensus, people who find it important walk together, each knowing the risk and owning it.

What if the websites are not unblocked even after the 9 June protests?

We fight again and again. It’s just phase one of the fight.

Will you attack more websites?

I’m sure many more websites will be attacked. We will keep hitting, with our canons loaded fully. Lots more data will be leaked.

The government says that you tried attacking many sites but were not successful. True?

Some have succeeded, some have not.

How does it all begin, suppose there is a country that still doesn’t have an Anonymous representative?

Simple—you start one.

Who appoints the first member? Do you need permission from the centre?

No one appoints. There is no centre, we do not need permission, we can do whatever we like. Except for a few rules, we can do anything. Anonymous is like an idea. It spreads, it goes from one person to others!

Do you guys need any funding for what you do?

No. We do not spend any money for what we do.

How would you rate the success of your India operation so far?

So far, so good. The problem remains. The results are good, but this is the journey. Too early to evaluate. Well, we need more people to wake up and understand what is happening around them. We shall continue and try to get maximum support, and try to spread the idea of Anonymous.

Will some of you be there at the protest physically?

Maybe, maybe not. We are an idea, so we will be there. But I’m sure some will be (physically there), but if everyone has masks, they will all look the same.

surabhi.a@livemint.com

Read original article here

Anonymous To Stage Street Protest on 9th June, Join Us In Your City

Anonymous is coming to your city. Are you ready? Join Us.

“We are Anonymous cos none of us is as cruel as all of us.” Join the facebook events to know more about what is going in and around your city.  Meet the fellow folks who are going to protest on 9th June against Internet Censorship.

Occupy Mumbai –  Gateway of India, Mumbai.

Occupy Delhi – India Gate

Occupy Chandigarh –  The Plaza, Sector 17, Chandigarh.

Occupy UP – *tentative*

Occupy Indore –  Regal Square.

Occupy Kolkata – South City Mall.

Occupy Hyderabad – Hitech City.

Occupy Bangalore – M.G. Road.

Occupy Cochin – Marine Drive.

Occupy Calicut –  Calicut Beach Opposite To  Beach Hotel

Occupy Nagpur – *tentative*

Occupy Pune – Shivaji Nagar.

Occupy Chennai  – *tentative*

If you want to help/support our cause and protest in your city let us know we’ll help you co-ordinate the protest.

IMPORTANT DIRECTIVES  FOR THE PROTEST – #OpIndia June 9, 2012 

http://pastehtml.com/view/bzi0nxrkz.html

People of India, it is high time you all realized that you need to take the action if your country needs to be saved. So here is your chance. On June 9th we are conducting nation wide protest at multiple cities in India. Join us.

This is to be a NON-VIOLENT protest in all means. So as there can be cases of this failing or external groups that may try to disrupt our operation using violence we are hereby issuing the following directives so that you can be safe.
01. The protest is a Non-Violent one.
02. Protesters may not use vehicles to protest as this may cause accidents, please keep vehicles out of the protest crowd.
03. One shall not keep any harmful items like weapons, stones etc with oneself.
04. Those who can wear the Guy Fawkes Mask. Printable version is available on the web.
05. Please bring placards, banners etc that you can prepare so for the cause.
06. For whom it is possible bring cameras and record events. Use your smart phone to stream it online using ustream. This will give us proof if something bad is attempted at the protest.
07. IF POLICE BLOCKS THE WAY, STAY 50Mts MIN AWAY. DO NOT CONFRONT THEM.
08. Fire or burning at all of any figures or material is to NOT be done.
09. Please hand over anyone who causes violence to the police.
10. Protest well. Our future may depend on it.
Thank you!We are anonymous
We are a Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
EXPECT US

Useful Links:

Press Release [28-05-2012] – http://pastehtml.com/view/bzkss5f77.rtxt

Anonymous Mask – http://opindia.posterous.com/become-anonymous

Make your own Anonymous Mask – http://opindia.posterous.com/pages/diy-anonymous-mask

Anonymous on Twitter – @opindia_back (Official Account)

Anonymous India Calls for Non-violent Protests Against Censorship


Added 29th May 2012

John Ribeiro

The Indian arm of Anonymous is planning what it describes as non-violent protests against Internet censorship in various Indian cities, after some Internet service providers blocked file-sharing sites in the country.

The protests, planned for June 9, follow a court order in March directed at ISPs, meant to prevent a newly released local movie from being offered in a pirated version online. Some ISPs went ahead and blocked some file-sharing sites altogether, rather than the offending URLs.

One such ISP, Reliance Communications, found its service was tinkered with last week, redirecting its users from sites like Facebook and Twitter to a protest page, according to reports from users. The hackers also claimed to have attacked the website and servers of Reliance, and claimed to have got access to a large list of URLs blocked by the company.

Reliance Communications said on Monday it had thoroughly investigated the matter and all its servers and websites are intact. “We have required preventive measures and strongest possible IT security layers in place to tackle any unwarranted intrusions,” the company said in a statement. “Despite repeated attempts by hackers, our servers could not be hacked.”

The hackers also claimed to have attacked websites of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the main opposition party in the country, after having previously launched DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on various websites including that of the Indian central bank, Reserve Bank of India.

Anonymous was active in India last year, when it attacked the website of the Indian army. It quickly reversed its decision to attack the site and kept a low profile after drawing protests from some of its own members.

Anonymous is asking supporters to download and print cut-outs of the Guy Fawkes mask, used by the hacker group as a logo, to be worn during the anti-censorship street protests.

The group’s protests are also directed at India’s Information Technology Act, which among other things allows the government to block websites under certain conditions, and also allows the removal of online content by notice to ISPs. The government is in the process of framing rules that will put curbs on freedom on social media, Anonymous said in a recent video, presumably a reference to demands by the government that Internet companies should have a mechanism in place to filter objectionable content, including content that mocks religious figures.

India’s Computer Emergency Response Team observed last week that hacker groups are launching DDoS attacks on government and private websites. These attacks may be targeted at different websites of reputed organizations, the agency said in an advisory. The attacks are being launched using popular DDoS tools and can consume bandwidth requiring appropriate proactive action in coordination with service providers, it added.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. John’s e-mail address isjohn_ribeiro@idg.com

Anonymous hacks BJP websites, wants people to protest against ‘web censorship’


, TNN | May 27, 2012,

Anonymous hacks BJP websites, wants people to protest against 'web censorship'
A day after messing with servers maintained by Reliance Communications, Anonymous, an international hacker collective, defaced two websites belonging to BJP on Sunday.
NEW DELHI: A day after messing with servers maintained by Reliance Communications, Anonymous, an international hacker collective, defaced two websites belonging to BJP on Sunday. Through its Twitter account (@opindia_back) it announced thatwww.mumbaibjp.org andwww.bjpmp.org.in were hacked by the group. After the hacking, the group posted a message to web users, asking them to organize protests against “web censorship” in Indiaon June 9.While the message was displayed on the homepage of www.mumbaibjp.org, onwww.bjpmp.org.in it was inserted as a page atbjpmp.org.in/ads/anon.html. On Mumbai BJP website the message was accompanied by a catchy tune embedded through a YouTube link.

“Today they took away your right to use a few websites… day after tomorrow they will take away your freedom of speech and no one will be there to speak for you. Speak Now or Never,” the message read. The hackers said that people should print out or buy Guy Fawkes Masks and wear them while protesting against web censorship in Bangalore, Mangalore, Kochi, Chennai, Vizag, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad on June 9.

TOI reached out to Anonymous though Twitter, asking why it defaced BJP websites. “”Just needed a website to display our message,” said the person managing @opindia_back.

The Ion, who is likely a part of Anonymous and who uses @ProHaxor alias on Twitter, added, “BJP are the opposition they should have stopped this or should have organised a protest they did not do any.”

Incidentally, CERT-IN, the nodal agency in India for monitoring security and hacking incidents within the country’s cyberspace, said in a report on Sunday that hackers are targeting Indian websites. “It is observed that some hacker groups are launching Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on websites of government and private organizations in India,” the report said and asked network administrators to keep vigil.

Anonymous started attacking websites belonging to government agencies and companies likeReliance Communications last week after internet service providers blocked several websites in the country on the basis of an order by Madras high court. Anonymous says the blocking of websites is illegal and suppression of freedom of speech. On Friday it held a virtual ‘press conference’ and released a list of websites that were allegedly blocked on the internet service provided by Reliance Communications even though there was no legal requirement for the ISPto do so. The hackers said they stole the list from Reliance’ servers. At the same ‘press briefing’ the group called on Indian people to organize protests against web censorship on June 9.

In the last few months, Anonymous has organized or played a dominant role in real world protests against what it perceives censorship and abuse of power. The most popular of these protests has been Occupy Wall Street in the US. Though there were a number of groups and individuals involved in these protests Anonymous had played a key role in spreading the word.

Hackers protest torrent ban, take down SC, Congress sites



TNN | May 18, 2012,

MUMBAI: Online hacker group Anonymous targeted websites of the Supreme Court of India and the All India Congress Committee on Thursday to protest Internet censorship.

Anonymous launched Operation India with a tweet that said, “Namaste #India, your time has come to trash the current government and install a new one. Good luck.”

A YouTube video uploaded on May 15 by user Sen0nymous, titled ‘Operation India Engaged’, issued a call to action for fellow hackers. The video stated, “It has been known that the Government of India and its ministers are committing aristocracy. The idea of democracy remains an idea only.”

“We were and are watching closely all activities of the Government and its ministers. Many ministers were and are charged with severe cases of corruption. They do not care. They do not care for the injustice happening. They do not care for the freedom being snatched.”

“The Government has been covering up its activities and hiding the facts from its citizens. It has imposed the IT Act which allows it to censor the internet as it seems fit. None other than the Department of Telecommunications needs to be blamed. One cannot block on purview of security concerns.”

On Thursday afternoon, the websites of the Supreme Court (supremecourtofindia.nic.in) and the All India Congress Committee (aicc.org.in) were attacked and taken down. The Supreme Court’s portal was back after a few hours, but the hackers said AICC will remain down the whole day.

The Twitter account for Operation India, @opindia_revenge, claimed it had also targeted the website of the Department of Telecommunications (dot.gov.in), but it was quickly back.

Similarly, Sen0nymous reported that the Delhi government‘s portal (delhi.gov.in) had been targeted , but it was back soon after.

The attacks come after the government asked Internet Service Providers to block websites such as The Pirate Bay, a file-sharing site, as well as video-sharing service Vimeo among others.

Anonymous is a disbanded group of unknown hackers spread across the globe. The international ‘hacktivist’ group has previously attacked the US Department of Justice, US Copyrights Office, Sony Playstation Network, FBI and Egyptian government websites, among others.

Hackers protest torrent ban, take down SC, Congress sites

TNN | May 18, 2012, 01.22AM IST
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MUMBAI: Online hacker group Anonymous targeted websites of the Supreme Court of India and the All India Congress Committee on Thursday to protest Internet censorship.

Anonymous launched Operation India with a tweet that said, “Namaste #India, your time has come to trash the current government and install a new one. Good luck.”

A YouTube video uploaded on May 15 by user Sen0nymous, titled ‘Operation India Engaged’, issued a call to action for fellow hackers. The video stated, “It has been known that the Government of India and its ministers are committing aristocracy. The idea of democracy remains an idea only.”

“We were and are watching closely all activities of the Government and its ministers. Many ministers were and are charged with severe cases of corruption. They do not care. They do not care for the injustice happening. They do not care for the freedom being snatched.”

“The Government has been covering up its activities and hiding the facts from its citizens. It has imposed the IT Act which allows it to censor the internet as it seems fit. None other than the Department of Telecommunications needs to be blamed. One cannot block on purview of security concerns.”

On Thursday afternoon, the websites of the Supreme Court (supremecourtofindia.nic.in) and the All India Congress Committee (aicc.org.in) were attacked and taken down. The Supreme Court’s portal was back after a few hours, but the hackers said AICC will remain down the whole day.

The Twitter account for Operation India, @opindia_revenge, claimed it had also targeted the website of the Department of Telecommunications (dot.gov.in), but it was quickly back.

Similarly, Sen0nymous reported that the Delhi government’s portal (delhi.gov.in) had been targeted , but it was back soon after.

The attacks come after the government asked Internet Service Providers to block websites such as The Pirate Bay, a file-sharing site, as well as video-sharing service Vimeo among others.

Anonymous is a disbanded group of unknown hackers spread across the globe. The international ‘hacktivist’ group has previously attacked the US Department of Justice, US Copyrights Office, Sony Playstation Network, FBI and Egyptian government websites, among others.

For the sake of free speech- Save your Voice Campaign


Creative professionals go on hunger strike to protest against Internet censorship

SUJATHA SUBRAMANIAN, The Hindu

GATHERING MOMENTUM:Save Your Voice activists sitting on a hunger strike.Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

GATHERING MOMENTUM:Save Your Voice activists sitting on a hunger strike.Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

The possibility of a scenario where the government not only has access to every Indian citizen‘s Facebook posts, Skype conversations, private photographs and can also censor tweets, blogs and online conversations has created outrage among citizens, particularly ‘netizens’.

The most recent attack on freedom of speech and expression has been in the form of the Information Technology (Intermediary Rules) 2011, which require that intermediaries, such as a website host, including social networking sites and search engines, do not host, display, share or publish information deemed as objectionable. On receiving a complaint by an aggrieved person, the intermediary site is liable to act within 36 hours and remove the content, without prior notice.

A group of like-minded individuals, who have come together under the ‘Save Your Voice’ campaign, are on a hunger strike protesting against IT Rules 2011.

The group, comprising writers, artists and musicians, had earlier organised a protest and sat inside cages set up at Jantar Mantar on April 22, with the slogan ‘Freedom in the Cage’, symbolising how the IT Rules ‘caged’ the freedom of the people granted by the Constitution.

“The empowerment that social media provides has begun to be seen as threatening. This is an attempt to clamp down on an individual’s right to dissent and his freedom of expression,” said journalist Alok Dixit here on Saturday, continuing with the fourth day of hunger strike at Jantar Mantar According to Mr. Dixit, the rules would also force the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to create vast databases of sensitive information about an individual which would then be available to the government.

The group is attempting to create awareness regarding the censorship inherent in the IT Rules and gather support for the annulment motion filed by Rajya Sabha MP P Rajeev against the rules. The motion is expected to come up in this budget session. Mr. Dixit said: “No site will run risk of being dragged to court to protect the rights of an individual. The Government is holding the intermediaries responsible so that it can exert power over the citizens in an indirect, insidious way.” The campaign was launched after cartoonist Aseem Trivedi’s website http://www.cartoonsagainstcorruption.com was closed down, without any prior notice, by Big Rock, the web portal that hosted his website.

On further investigations, it was discovered that a complaint against his site had been lodged with the Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell.

Mr. Dixit said: “We understand that the Government deems certain content as capable of inciting violence and as being against national interest. But every site has always had mechanisms to deal with such content. What aggrieves us is the draconian way in which it is trying to clamp down on any form of free expression or dissent. Such regulations also do not allow an individual to understand why certain content has been termed objectionable or what an individual can do to retrieve his site. An individual’s intellectual property should not be tampered with in this manner.” The campaign for free speech and expression has gained momentum after the recent case where a professor from Jadavpur University was arrested and booked under the IT Act for posting an “objectionable” cartoon on a popular social networking site.

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Reliance Communications Blocks The Pirate Bay & Vimeo #SatyamevJayate #Aamirkhan


By Vikas SN on May 4th, 2012 | , Media Nama

It appears that Reliance Communications has blocked video sharing website Vimeo and torrent website The Pirate Bay. While the reason of the block is not yet known, these websites are apparently blocked as per the instructions of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) (screenshot below). We tried accessing Vimeo and several other torrent websites and were instead redirected to a landing page which mentions that “The site has been blocked as per instructions from the Department of Telecom”. We are not sure on the range of the torrent websites blocked, since we were able to access a few popular torrent websites at the time of writing this article.

Why Vimeo? While the block on torrent sites are understandable, we are intrigued by the block on Vimeo, since its is just a video sharing website, quite similar to YouTube. Was Vimeo blocked because it houses user generated videos? If thats the reason, will YouTube and other video sharing websites be the next target in this site blocking spree?

Another thing to ponder is that the reason for the block has been suggested as an order from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), but we wonder if Reliance has obtained yet another John Doe order to block the above mentioned websites, considering that it is releasing a Bollywood movie next week.

Last Years Blocks

In July 2011, where several ISPs including Airtel had blocked access to several file sharing sites like Mediafire.com, Megaupload.com, Rapidshare.com, Sendspace.com, Megavideo.com, VideoBB.com, Novamov.com, Movshare.com, Putlocker.com, Hotfile.com, Fileserve.com, Filesonic.com, Filesonic.in, Depositfiles.com, Wupload.com, Uploaded.to, and Uploadstation.com, suggesting the reason of block, as an order from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) but it was later revealed that the block was instituted because of a John Doe order from the Delhi High Court, allowing Reliance Big Pictures to prevent piracy of its movie Singham. A month later, Reliance Entertainment had got yet another John Doe order from the Delhi High Court to prevent piracy of its movie Bodyguard.

That being said, it should be noted that these blocks are limited to Reliance Broadband at present and the above mentioned websites worked fine on a BSNL broadband connection.

Report The Blocks To Us

If you know of any other ISP which has blocked these websites, do let us know in the comments below. Please mention your location and ISP, and add a screenshot of the blocks for The Pirate Bay and Vimeo. So far:

– Reliance Communications Data Card: Yes, both blocked
– Reliance Wireline, Mumbai/Gujarat: Yes, both blocked
– MTNL Delhi/Mumbai: No
– Airtel Delhi/Bangalore/Mumbai/Pune/Chennai: No
– BSNL Bangalore/Pune/Andhra Pradesh/Gurgaon: No
– Tata Pune: No
– Sify Pune: No
– Hathway Mumbai: No
– Syscon Infoway: Yes, both blocked
– Zylog Wi5: Yes, both blocked
– Aircel Ahmedabad: Yes
– Vodafone 3G, Ahmedabad/Maharashtra: Yes, both blocked.
– Tikona, Mumbai: Yes, both blocked.
– You Broadband: No

Original Article here

Web providers hit out at ‘censorship’ of internet porn


Pornography

Pornography (Photo credit: bigcityal)

7th feb 2012-IRISH internet providers have criticised a decision by their counterparts in the UK to impose a blanket ban on pornography — branding the decision as “nothing less than censorship”.

Under a new scheme introduced last year aimed at protecting children from explicit material online, subscribers to four of the UK’s biggest internet service providers now have to ‘opt in’ if they want to view sexually explicit websites.

Customers who do not specifically ‘opt in’ for access to adult content will be unable to log on to pornographic websites.

However, the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI) has dismissed such measures as ‘censorship’, saying the responsibility should lie with parents to regulate what children access on the web.

“If internet service providers are dictating what can be accessed, then that could be seen as nothing less than censorship. Essentially we would be deciding what would be the inappropriate material. That should be left to the parents or guardians,” said Paul Duran from the ISPAI.

The ISPAI represents 20 Internet Service Providers in Ireland including the likes of Eircom, O2, Vodafone and UPC.

UCD lecturer and digital law expert JP McIntyre believes there are massive practical issues involved with the measures.

“Many of these blocking issues are easy to circumvent, but what they do tend to do is damage people who have been wrongly blocked. You’ll find that shops selling things like lingerie get blocked by these filters,” Mr McIntyre said.

He added: “Very often there are no appeal mechanisms or they are very hard to use and in the meantime people find that their businesses are suffering because people can’t access their sites and they don’t know why.”

Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald admitted that the UK was “further ahead” in terms of protecting children from inappropriate online material, but she refused to comment on whether there were any plans to persuade Irish internet providers to adopt the British model.

Yesterday, the minister launched ‘Safer Internet Day 2012′ at St Brigid’s Primary School in Dublin. The event aims to promote safer internet use for children, and marked a new Garda Primary Schools Programme module dealing with online bullying.

‘I Caught My Teen Watching Internet Porn

Mark O’Regan and Kevin Keane

Irish Independent

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