Closure of websites anger citizens
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Closure of websites anger citizens

By agencies   |   Thursday, 20 July 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The censorship of websites by the Indian government as a precautionary measure to curb terrorism has been met with angry protest from software professionals and Internet users.

Blocked in an effort to stop extremists stirring up religious violence, after the Mumbai train blast, which left more than 180 dead, pressurized the government on Wednesday to revive access to the Web.

Though suspicion has surrounded Islamic militants fighting India rule in the disputed territory of Kashmir, Investigators announced no breakthroughs in the search for those behind the July 11 blasts. “The Indian Internet service providers don’t have the technological wherewithal to block specific blogs on a blogging site. Consequently, they ended up blocking the entire site,” said technology expert Pawan Duggal.

Kiran Karnik, president of The National Association of Software and Services Companies said, “It is neither desirable nor possible to impose censorship on the Net.”

Stating that it reflected poorly on the bureaucrat’s understanding of technology at all,” Sarabjit Roy, a cyber law expert said that the order was inefficient because users could still access many blogs through third-party Web sites that the government had not blocked.

On Tuesday, sirens wailed in Bombay as trains, cars and pedestrians halted during the evening rush hour to mark the moment of the blasts a week earlier.

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