Who ordered Vimeo to be blocked? Not DoT, says RTI reply #censorship

Deutsch: Logo des Videoportals Vimeo

Published: Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012, 11:18 IST
By Subir Ghosh | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The ire of hacktivist group Anonymous that was directed at the government over blocking of sites like vimeo.com and Pirate Bay may not have been justified – the ban on these sites, in fact, was not ordered by the Department of Telecommunications.

In response to a RTI query made by the Delhi-based Software Freedom Law Centre (SFLC), the department replied, “As per available information no blocking instruction to block websites like Pirate-bay and Vimeo etc. has been issued by the Department of Telecommunications to Internet Service Providers (sic).”
The revelation by the department assumes significance since most of the anger of groups like Anonymous had been directed against it, particularly over these two sites.

On June 9, countrywide protests were organised by Anonymous. Dressed in black and wearing Guy Fawkes masks, about 100 people staged a demonstration at the city’s Azad Maidan in protest against the Union government’s internet policies. The Indian wing of the group was created in the backdrop of the recent outrage over the IT Act Intermediaries Rules and blocking of sites.

SFLC itself does not want to hazard a guess on who ordered the blocks, but falls back on reports to conjecture that these might have been carried out by ISPs to comply with interim injunctions styled as John Doe orders issued by the Chennai High Court in response to a suit filed by producers of the Tamil film ‘3’, arguably better known for its chartbuster ‘Kolaveri’.

SFLC counsel Prasanth Sugathan said it did not matter so much who had handed out the orders. “It is the issues raised that are important. One should not lose sight of core issues (that of internet freedom),” he said. SFLC, among other things, works towards protecting digital freedoms.

Vimeo.com, Pirate Bay and a other sites continue to be blocked across many ISPs for over a month now. According to SFLC, the error message shown on trying to access the blocked sites on the Airtel network was, “This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court orders or on the Directions issued by the Department of Tellecommunciations

Read more here

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


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