The Government of India has on December 17, 2014 ordered Indian ISPs to block 32 websites including various code sharing and information exchange platforms such as GitHub that are commonly used by companies, techies, students and researchers.
In the absence of any requirements of transparency in our laws pertaining to blocking content, the reasons for this act of censorship are unclear, with the media reporting that this act of censorship was carried out to prevent the influence of ISIS on young Indians.
It is however evident that the Government has acted with haste and without adequate application of mind to the matter. In case specific content had to be blocked, the corresponding web pages should have been blocked and not blocking of such popular sites such as vimeo, Internet Archives etc. Censoring access to sites such as these violates fundamental rights of citizens and retards innovation and scientific progress.
GitHub is used by millions of software developers around the world to share code and exchange ideas. Given the importance of the technology sector to the Indian economy, denying Indian citizen’s access to one of the world’s most popular code-hosting websites is a retrograde step and only harms the efforts of the Government to promote development of the software sector in India.
FSMI calls on Government of India: