Over the past couple of days, some Airtel mobile Internet customers have found themselves being directed to a site with the address http://18.104.22.168/ while trying to browse websites. The URL hosts the admin page for Netsweeper cloud manager. https://twitter.com/coderzombie/status/720322912859754497 Netsweeper Inc is a Canadian software company which is used by telecom operators and governments to censor citizens access to the Internet: quite simply, it is used to block websites. The software has been used by telecom operators and governments in Qatar, UAE and Yemen. Canada based Citizen Lab has details of how Netsweeper was used to block websites in Pakistan. In Yemen, as per an October 2015 report by Citizen Lab, it was used to "filter critical political content, independent media websites, and all websites belonging to the Israeli (.il) top-level domain". That is not to say that Netsweeper is being used by Airtel to filter access to content which hasn't been legitimately banned in India. India does have a problem of too many bans: far too often, when a movie is released, film producers get "John Doe" orders from courts, which allow them to block access to any website. The Indian government has also been trigger-happy in the past, and blocks have ranged from blocking all blog domains (in 2006), to specific news particles (in 2012) and twitter accounts (in 2012), lots of porn sites (in 2015), to, more recently, shutting down Internet access in its entirety in certain areas, citing civil unrest (in 2015 and 2016)...and even to…
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