The Indian laws made in immediate post-colonial period are still in use! For example, the copyright law, which was constituted during 50’s and remains almost unchanged, till today. The recent ban on file sharing sites like Piriate Bay has created controversies across media and society. Specially, the youth population (In’glo’dians and Indians) are protesting against it by various means. Their arguments are valid…. A student said “the copyright law was made in 50’s where there was no way a movie could have made money other than selling the tickets.. but today, a movie makes profit even before its released! Take the case of Ra One… it made money via endorsement, tie ups, music CDs…. So, why should the copyright law give protection to the producer to make sky high profit by banning the file sharing websites? Is not it a conspiracy? A business- politico nexus…” In a democratic country how come the Government gags file sharing! The war between the forward thinking youth and orthodox silver hairs are growing in various ideologies including the internet space.
At this scenario, the emergence of The Anonymous is natural. The international hacktivist group launched 'Operation India' , taking down the websites of the Supreme Court of India, DoT, MIT, AICC, BJP, and Copyrights Labs. The Hindu report stated “Online hackers collective Anonymous, that has gained global attention for its symbolism and high-profile tactics, made its public presence felt across the country on Saturday, as volunteers took to the streets to register their protests over growing concerns of Internet censorship. The ‘OpIndia' protest gained more traction in some cities than others — notably New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore — as groups of youths dressed up in black suits and sported the iconic Guy Fawkes mask. The protests coordinated via Twitter and Anonymous’s IRC channels were held at: Mumbai, Delhi - India Gate, Chandigarh, Indore, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Calicut, Pune, Ahmedabad, Manipal, Trivandrum, Coimbatore. They carried placards and raised slogans against the government's alleged attempts at backdoor censorship online. In some cases, they made up for the lack of numbers by showing some flair in dressing up iconic figures in the protest clothes. The street protests were peaceful. The group, however, waged a virtual war online since the stroke of midnight on Friday, as it upped the ante to bring down intermittently two government websites - www.india.gov.in and www.cert-in.org.in. The two identified Twitter handles of Anonymous India, exhorted volunteers to launch DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. It turned out to be a cat and a mouse game as the Twitter accounts got disabled, and Anonymous continued to operate through new accounts. Free Software Foundation, Tamil Nadu, one of the groups that pledged support in Chennai, distanced itself from DDoS attacks. But it noted in a pamphlet distributed to the public that the protests were specifically over developments that sought to curb freedom of expression online: Section 69 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act, 2008 that would allow government officials and investigating agencies to listen in to all phone calls, SMSs and emails even without a warrant from a Magistrate; and Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 through which “Government has enacted laws that gives it a free pass to censor Facebook posts, listen to every Skype conversation, monitor tweets or blogs or access private photographs and documents stored online, or track locations using mobile phone to keep under surveillance all of our online activity.” Protesters said they were not willing to buy Union Minister Kapil Sibal's explanations about “self-regulation” online and saw the government moves, including some amendments in the Indian Copyright Amendment Bill (2012), as an attempt at backdoor censorship. There were not enough provisions to safeguard Internet intermediaries — like search engines or file-sharing sites — whereas the amendments vested disproportionate powers with those who might complain of violations. The recent John Doe order by the Madras High Court over an anti-piracy complaint that eventually led to the blocking of some file-sharing and video-sharing networks seems to have been the tipping point for the protests.” Continuing on Saturday, it attacked the online portal of Reliance Big Entertainment (RBE) because it obtained a John Doe order to prevent access to sites such as file-sharing portal The Pirate Bay, video-sharing service Vimeo, and more.
(Activists meeting at the beach in Chennai)
(Protesters from the Anonymous India group of hackers wear Guy Fawkes masks as they protest against laws they say gives the government control over censorship of internet usage in Mumbai, June 9, 2012)
Anonymous has hacked AITMC (All India Trinamool Congress) website. The homepage of AITMC (All India Trinamool Congress) website was replaced with Anonymous ‘mask’ and is now redirecting to Twitter The above is the screen capture of the hacked website of TMC.
But concerns for Internet freedom in India are not new, and stem from an update to the country’s Information Technology Act in April last year. The new rules regulating Internet companies – providers, websites and search engines – instruct them that they must remove "disparaging" or "blasphemous" content within 36 hours if they receive a complaint from an "affected person."
(An activist supporting the group Anonymous wears a mask as they protest against the Indian Government's increasingly restrictive regulation of the internet outside a shopping mall in Kolkata on June 9, 2012)
(An activist supporting the group Anonymous holds a poster as they protest against the Indian Government's increasingly restrictive regulation of the internet outside a shopping mall in Bangalore on June 9, 2012)
The Facebook page of The Anonymous is here
More news : http://www.livemint.com/2012/05/29230711/Anonymous-does-not-mean-you-ar.html