To: Shri A.K.

Biswas Deputy Secretary- Coordination and Public Information Officer (RTI) Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Government of India Sub: Date: Information regarding the blocking of internet website domains July 19, 2006

Dear Sir, I, along with several other internet users across the country, have been unable to access the following websites as well as their sub-domains: http://www.blogspot.com http://www.geocities.com http://www.typepad.com http://sub-domain.blogspot.com http://sub-domain.typepad.com On contacting the relevant ISPs, their users were told that these websites have been blocked under a directive of the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India. I would like to use the Right to Information Act to ascertain the following: 1. Has there been a directive issued by the Department of Telecommunications to block the aforementioned domains? 2. 3. 4. If so, why has this blanket block come into force? Why have these particular domain names been specifically blocked? If the directive required ISPs to block certain web pages, would the Department of Telecommunications take action against ISPs for this blunt blanket block? 5. 6. When will this block cease to exist? If no such directive has been issued, why are these websites being blocked? Will the Department of Telecommunications take action against ISPs for blocking websites arbitrarily? 7. 8. Who is responsible for ensuring that Indian citizens have the freedom to access these websites? What form of redressal does an Indian citizen have to ensure that these websites are no longer blocked? 9. If there has been a directive from the Department of Telecommunications, and considering the fact the most of the websites blocked do not contain pornography, speeches of hate, contempt, slander or defamation, or promote gambling, racism, violence or terrorism, is the ministry of communications and Information technology violating the articles 14, 19, and 21 of thejm constitution of India?

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I must highlight the fact these websites are used by thousands of Indian citizens to express their views, thoughts and ideas and as a medium of social networking. Indian Citizens have the right to express their views freely, and have an unhindered exchange of thoughts and ideas. Blocking these websites universally and not allowing Indian Citizens to read any of them is equivalent to hindering the freedom of expression of the individuals. A similar petition has also been filed with Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. I request you to kindly look into this matter. Thanks in advance for your co-operation. Yours Sincerely,

Abhishek Baxi 1302, Sector-14, Sonipat-131001 Email: abby@baxiabhishek.info P.S: To ensure prompt response I would appreciate if information can be divulged through email instead of postal mail.

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