254 URLs blocked in 3 months. Is the government overreacting?

Parliament was informed yesterday that a total of 254 URLs were blocked by the Indian government in 2013 alone in compliance of court orders.

“In the year 2013, government has blocked other 121 URLs in compliance of court orders. In addition, 60 URLs hosting video/trailor of controversial movie ‘Innocence of Muslims’ were blocked under the provisions of Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and rules notified therein,” Minister of State for Communication and IT Milind Deora said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Of the total URLs blocked, 60 URLs were of sites hosting videos of the film Innocence of Muslims and 194 URLs were blocked in compliance of court orders, he added.
He further added that 73 URLs were blocked in compliance of a court order issued by Second Additional District Judge, Dabra, Gwalior (in Madhya Pradesh).

“The court order was issued pursuant to a civil suit (16A of 2012) and subsequent applications filed in the court of the District Judge, Dabra, Gwalior,” he said.

Apart from blocking the sites which had ‘anti-islam’ content; last Month, the web page of University Grants Commission (UGC) among various other website links were blocked on the Internet on basis of a Gwalior court order after a business partner of Arindam Chaudhuri-led IIPM complained about the “defamatory material” about the institute published on them.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology ( DEITY) blocked 78 web pages including that of UGC following the court order. The list also included news items on websites of leading media houses on the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM).

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