17 June, 2021

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The silent blocking of URLs by the DoT assaults freedom of expression

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Five Questions

  • On what grounds did the DoT ask for a ban on the 55 Facebook URLs pertaining to Afzal Guru?
  • Why did the Gwalior court rush into blocking of 73 URLs related to IIPM even though the content was very old and clearly some of it was even prima facie non-defamatory?
  • Why is the Gwalior court order not being made public?
  • Why doesn’t DoT keep the whole process transparent by putting up all its block orders on its website, giving reasons in each case?
  • How many URLs in all has the DoT asked for a ban on so far?


It’s the perfect recipe for a potboiler—a sudden, mysterious and arbitrary blocking of web pages, sparked off by an irate ‘educationist’; several upset publications (Outlook included); a government department with a blocked web...

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