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Indian Gov blocks 32 websites for hosting anti-India content, spreading IS propaganda

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The Indian government has blocked 32 websites including vimeo.com, dailymotion.com, pastebin.com and github.com accused of carrying anti-India views and spreading the Islamic State (IS) propaganda.

It was on Wednesday that a confidential department of telecom order, issued on December 17, calling out all internet service providers to block the internet sites, appeared online.

GitHub, Archive.org, Imgur, Vimeo, Daily Motion, Pastebin, sourceforge, justpaste, cryptbin were among the sites that were blocked under section 69 A of the IT Act, 2000 and the IT (Procedure and safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) rules, 2009. Some of the alleged websites were reportedly using social media as its weapon to lure Indian youths to join jihadi activities.

Dr Gulshan Rai, director of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), said the directions had been issued to internet service providers following a Mumbai additional chief metropolitan magistrate’s November order directing the government’s Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) to implement the same.

Arvind Gupta, the national head of Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also took to Twitter to announce “The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS.”

Gupta added, “The sites that have removed objectionable content and/or cooperated with the on going investigations, are being unblocked.”

According to sources, websites including GitHub and Vimeo that complied with the government order to remove objectionable content were unblocked by Wednesday evening.

No official notification on the blockage has yet been issued on the Department of Technology website.