Blocks on several content and image websites have been removed, it appears: Zedge.net, a website with free mobile content is no longer blocked on Airtel and MTNL, as are the consumer complaints website RipoffReport, image hosting sites imagebam.com, imgbox.com and stooorage.com, and file sharing sites Uploaded.net. The reason for the removal of the blocks is unknown, just as the reason for blocking the websites over the last few months ago was unknown. This is symptomatic of the way websites are blocked in India: without transparency and notice.
Typically, when websites are blocked, the owners of the websites are not informed about the block, about the reasons for the block, and the process for removal of the block. It’s all shrouded in secrecy, and is a significant business risk in the Internet industry in India: if your website gets blocked, what do you do, when you don’t even know who to contact?
In some instances, ISPs put up a notice on the website that says “Access to Website blocked” (as was the case with the Ripoff Report) or “This website/URL has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to Court orders or on the Directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications”, but that isn’t helpful either. As we’ve written time and again, the lack of transparency needs to be addressed, and the ambiguity needs to be dispensed with.
In case you are unable to access these websites, do leave a comment with details of your city/town and your ISP. Also, in case you come across other sites that are blocked, please do let us know.