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Vimeo, DailyMotion, Pastebin Among Sites Blocked In India For 'Anti-India' Content From ISIS

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jan 02, 2015 04:43 PM
The Indian government has convinced ISPs to block dozens of popular websites accused of hosting “anti-India” content posted by members of the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

The story was published by IB Times on December 31. Pranesh Prakash is quoted.

GitHub, Pastebin, as well as the video sites Vimeo and DailyMotion were among those rendered inaccessible to many of India’s nearly 250 million Internet users.

The text repository Pastebin first tweeted on Dec. 19 that it had been blocked, confirming on Dec. 26 that the blockade was at the behest of India’s Department of Telecom. Pranesh Prakash, the policy director at the Center for Internet and Society in Bangalore, posted a list of the blocked sites Wednesday. Notice the list was issued Dec. 17.

Hours later Arvind Gupta, the national head of information technology at India’s Bharatiya Janata Party, confirmed on Twitter that a block had indeed been put in place. Other than referencing “ongoing investigations,” Gupta did not provide specific details on the type of threats being made.

The move comes after it was discovered that the operator of a prominent pro-ISIS Twitter account was based in Bangalore. Mehdi Masroor Biswas, 24, was arrested earlier this month after a Channel 4 News investigation determined he was behind @ShamiWitness, an account with more than 17,700 followers and 2 million tweets seen each month.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the “Make in India” campaign earlier this year in an attempt to encourage international businesses to invest in India. The campaign specifically mentions information technology as a sector in which India wishes to improve.