Anonymous India hacks TELCO website in censorship protest
It’s safe to say there have been less interesting weeks in Indian telecoms.
Following the approval of a new national telecoms policy, and the hacking into provider Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)’s website by the Anonymous India group, there has been plenty to talk about.
The site of state-assisted MTNL was down for at least six hours yesterday, with the Anonymous India blog proudly displaying a screen cap from Down for Everyone or Just Me confirming it. At the time of writing, however, the site is now back up.
Anonymous had previously targeted the websites of the Indian Supreme Court and the Department of Telecoms among others, but now stresses peaceful protest, organising rallies in 12 Indian cities for June 9.
Anonymous India claimed ongoing internet censorship as the reason for their actions, with a video released on their official site explaining: “The department of Telecom has ordered all internet service providers in India to block access to all viral-sharing websites, legal or illegal.
“We cannot let any censorship happen; this is just like what the high court in the UK has done,” it continues.
They have also written an open letter to the Indian government challenging what they call the “great Indian firewall” and claim that blocking entire domains is “wrong and unjustified”.
In other news, the Indian government has recently approved a new telecoms policy which will abolish roaming charges as well as give users greater convenience by keeping their mobile numbers regardless of whether they move to different circles in a policy called “one nation one number”.
As India has the second largest mobile phone user base, the country is divided into 22 telecom circles. Before the recent legislation users would have to change their phone number or pay extra charges if they moved.
The move to abolish roaming arguably brings India in line with the EU’s new roaming regulations.
An official statement afterwards stated that “the policy seeks to provide a predictable and stable policy regime for a period of about ten years”; however users will still have to wait for the change as the finalities are being thrashed out by the Telecoms Commission and the Department of Telecoms.
Do you agree with Anonymous’ position that nothing on the internet should be censored, even if it infringes copyrights left right and centre? Further, what do you think of the new telecoms policy in India and is it long overdue?
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