Web censorship

Policy implications of website blocking via ISPs

One of the ways in which the Government of India censors the web is by asking Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to certain
websites for its users. Following from the provisions of the Information Technology (IT) Act, website blocking in India can be opaque and executive-driven. There are no guidelines on the the technical details of how ISPs can/should block websites blocking. This impacts users’ rights of freedom of expression and access to information online.

In this talk, speaker Gurshabad Grover, will cover:

  1. The legal background of website blocking in India
  2. Different techniques used by Indian ISPs to censor websites
  3. Empirical data on whether ISPs are blocking the same websites.

The talk will also explore the legal and policy implications on online freedom of expression and net neutrality in India.

Additional references: https://theleaflet.in/content-takedown-and-users-rights/ - refer to this document for understanding constitutional rights of individuals whose websites are ordered to be blocked by the Government, everyone’s constitutional right to access information, and recommendations.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1912.08590 - refer to this paper for CIS’ research on techniques used by ISPs to censor websites, and data on whether website blocklists are consistent across ISPs

Who should participate:

  1. Researchers, teachers and students of technology and humanities disciplines
  2. Legal collectives and/or advocacy groups who deal with freedom of expression, privacy and net neutrality
  3. Network security and privacy enthusiasts

Participation:
https://zoom.us/j/91410105427?pwd=S2pHbU5uTGhYTmZQeHZ6dDBkbDlLUT09

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Talks

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