Zedge mobile application blocked logo
It appears that mobile customization service app Zedge has been blocked on certain Internet Service Providers and mobile operators in India.(Hat tip – Harish Krishnan)

The app displays the following message for certain Vodafone Mumbai users:

“ZEDGE is currently blocked by certain Internet Service Providers and Mobile Operators in INDIA due to decree issued by the DOT and Indian High Court. This means that many users in India are unable to use this app and our websites.

We are doing our best to find a solution to this problem and will let you know what you can do to help when we learn more.

As always, thanks for being a Zedger!”

Zedge-hari  Screenshot_2013-05-13-15-04-37

We tried using Zedge’s Android app on Vodafone Mumbai connection and got a “Invalid response from server error” message. The app however seems to work fine on Idea Cellular (Mumbai) and on Loop Mobile.

It’s not clear as to which DoT and Indian High Court order the app is referring here and which High Court has issued this order. If you have a copy of the court order, please share it with us at apurva@medianama.com.

According to a post on the company’s official Facebook page, Zedge seems to be facing this issue from March 2013. While the company hasn’t disclosed any specific reason for this block, Zedge informed that it is working on resolving this issue. However, it looks like the issue hasn’t been resolved yet.

Zedge Website Block: It also seems like the service block is more widespread than the other website blocks we have seen previously, with comments on Zedge’s official Facebook page suggesting that the service has been blocked on Vodafone (TN, Karnataka, Haryana), Airtel TN and Aircel Pune among others. Further, it also looks like Zedge.net website has been blocked on select ISPs in India. If you know of any other ISP or mobile operator which has blocked this website/app, do let us know in the comments below. Please mention your location and ISP/mobile operator, and add a screenshot of the block.

This seems to be yet another instance of the ambiguous website blocks we have seen earlier, with no specific reason provided for these blocks except for the standard error message that we have seen in the previous website blocks. Mobango, a mobile apps marketplace owned by the Shaadi.com guys, was also once blocked in India. Why? We don’t know. When will these ambiguous website blocks stop and there will be transparency in the whole process?

Other website blocks ordered by DoT

In April 2013, Care.org, the website of the non-profit organization fighting global poverty, had been blocked in India on at least two ISPs – Vodafone India (in Bangalore) and Spectranet. It appears that Zedge had been blocked in April 2013 as well on Vodafone Tamil Nadu circle.

In February 2013, DoT had issued instructions to Internet Service Licensees to block access to 78 URLs from India, and what is evident from the list of URLs is that 73 of these are related to the educational institution IIPM.

Related:

How India Should Approach Website Blocking
– DoT Blocks Sites Criticising IIPM – Live Updates
– DoT Issues Orders To Block 55 URLs Related To Afzal Guru
– #IndiaBlocks – A Round-Up Of News On The Internet Blocks