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Why Is India's Dept of Telecom Blocking All TypePad-Hosted Blogs?

typepad.jpgWhy is India's Department of Telecom blocking all blogs hosted on TypePad? What could they possibly accomplish by doing this?

Tonight Stuart Henshall contacted me on Skype IM to let me know he couldn't reach my Disruptive Telephony blog from Mumbai, India to read my recent post about Google Voice and SIP addresses. The site was very definitely up, so I asked him if he could see this Disruptive Conversations blog. Nope. Danyork.com? Nope. All of which are hosted on TypePad. Stuart could see my Code.DanYork.com site, but that's separately hosted on a standalone WordPress install.

Wondering if this was a block on all of TypePad, Stuart tried

(I just pulled those off TypePad's list of "showcase" blogs and gave them to Stuart to try.)

Given that Stuart uses "Airtel Broadband" in India, he did a quick search online and found this report in an online forum that Airtel was blocking TypePad! The forum included this response with a graphic clearly showing the problem:


The text says:

This site has been blocked as per request from Department of Telecom

And all I can say is:


I mean, yes, I know that India's Department of Telecom has been blocking VoIP calls since Feb 2009, so sure, I could maybe see an argument for blocking my DisruptiveTelephony site since I talk about Skype and other VoIP services (but would the Indian Dept. of Telecom really notice my little blog? Seems a stretch). But blocking Seth Godin? Come on!

Even better... blocking the National Geographic blogs? I mean... Hello? What has NGM ever done to India? And I guess there is the assumption that no one in India will want to read news from Marriott? Or from any of the 10s of thousands of other people writing blogs on TypePad?

Curiously, Stuart could get to the main page of www.typepad.com, something that others mentioned in the most recent posts to this online forum, but he couldn't get to any of the actual blogs hosted on TypePad.

So what's up? Why can't people in India read any of our blogs? (And TypePad folks, are you talking to the Indian Dept of Telecom about this?) It seems crazy for a country to block an entire hosting provider!

I'd say that "if you are reading this in India, please contact your government"... but obviously that's the point, you can't read this in India. I guess if any of you reading this outside of India can somehow clue people inside of the country to this problem, perhaps they can be asking questions of the Dept. of Telecom.

Meanwhile, if you are in India and you click on one of the links in my tweets and find it doesn't work... well... it was probably a link to one of my blogs on TypePad! (Not that you'll ever know, since you can't read this post.)

UPDATE - 3/9/11: Aswath Rao reminded me on Twitter last night that in this post I am only reporting that one ISP in India is reporting that the government of India has asked to block certain sites. His contention was that you could not jump to a conclusion that all of India is blocking access to TypePad. He is correct in that, although in IM'ing with Stuart Henshall he indicated that he had heard of similar blockage by other ISPs. Regardless, the point is that for at least some number of people in India, TypePad is blocked.

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