Lay Indians in many metros were treated to the bizarre sight of young people sporting masks that they might not readily have associated with the Guy Fawkes-led Gun powder Plot , a key event in British history. In any case the association was remote and largely meaningless in India – where few might even be aware of the ‘Anonymous’ group which is a rallying point for internet freedom and inspired this particular protest.
But many thousands could relate to the real issue that triggered the peaceful protest: the taking down of multiple file sharing sites by almost all the leading Internet Service Providers last month, in response to a Madras High Court order in a case filed by two sets of film producers who apprehended that their new releases might be pirated and distributed on the Net ahead of theatrical release.
The Court issued what has come to be known in the West as a John Doe order against un named would be offenders. And it probably did not think out the full process of how its order was to be implemented.
In the event, many of the ISPs, chose to play safe and blocked downloading sites wholesale – including in the bag, many innocuous Net services…. A case of choosing to crawl when asked to bend.. a phrase which we in India associated with a brief repressive phase and aberration, in our own political history.
We leave it to these web links to tell the story of the Saturday protest… that just might persuade the government to rethink some of the provisions in the 2011 Rules appended to the 2008 Information Technology Act
Am2PM: Anonymous Indians to protest against Internet censorship Today http://www.am2pmnews.com/tech/social-media/anonymous-india-to-protest-against-internet-censorship-today.html
BBC: Hacking group Anonymous takes on India internet 'censorship'
NDTV: 'Anonymous' protests in Delhi against Internet censorship http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/anonymous-protests-in-delhi-against-internet-censorship-229399
Times of India: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Anonymous-activists-protest-against-web-censorship-in-Indian-cities/articleshow/13971538.cms
IndiaTechOnline : Editor Anand Parthasarathy interviewed on BBC World Service Radio’s NewsHour programme at noon June (GMT) ( fast fwd to the section between 14 min 20 secs to 18 mins 20 swecs) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/p00sw2v9
Who are Anonymous? ( Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anonymous_(group)
June 10 2012