India defends Internet blocking.
India on Friday defended itself against accusations of heavy-handed online censorship, saying it had been successful in blocking content blamed for fuelling ethnic tensions. The government over the past week has ordered Internet service providers to block 309 webpages, images and links on sites including Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, news channel ABC of Australia and Qatar-based Al-Jazeera.
The orders were an effort to halt the spread of “hateful” material and rumours that Muslims planned to attack students and workers who have migrated from the north-east region to live in Bangalore and other southern cities. “We have met with success. These pages were a threat to India’s national security and we demanded their immediate deletion,” Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, a spokesman for India’s home ministry, told AFP.
“Spreading rumours to encourage violence or cause tension will not be tolerated. The idea is not to restrict communication.” The government has blamed Internet activity for fanning fears that resulted in tens of thousands of migrants fleeing back to the north-east last week from Bangalore and elsewhere.
But Twitter users, legal experts and analysts criticised the government’s approach, which appeared to have resulted in only partial blocking of material, much of which was still accessible. “The officials who are trusted with this don’t know the law or modern technology well enough,” Pranesh Prakash, programme manager at the Centre for Internet and Society research group, told AFP.
“I hope that this fiasco shows the folly of excessive censorship and encourages the government to make better use of social networks and technology to reach out to people.” Among the blocked content were photographs by AFP and other news agencies from Myanmar in the British Daily Telegraph, a parody Twitter account pretending to be from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and dozens of YouTube videos.
Katy Perry and John Mayer ‘dating’.
Katy Perry and John Mayers were spotted on what looked very much like a date on Thursday night.
The pair had dinner at Pace restaurant in Los Angeles before moving onto favourite celebrity haunt the Chateau Marmont Hotel.
They were first spotted together at Soho House on July 19th where eagle-eyed sources reported that they were “affectionate and cuddling”.
On Thursday, the ‘Hot ‘n’ Cold’ hitmaker met up with the long-haired love machine just hours after landing from Brazil where she’s been promoting her autobiographical film, ‘Part of Me 3D’.
“I’m a woman that who likes to be courted. Strongly. Never say never, I guess you’d say. I’ll let love take the lead on that,” the Mirror quoted her as telling the September issue of US Ele magazine. (ANI)
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