India starts blocking file storage websites in a move against piracy

Widely used file storage websites such as Megaupload, Rapidshare, Mediafire and Putlocker are being reported as blocked by users in India.

File storage websites such as Megaupload, Putlocker, Rapidshare are being blocked in India.

A thread started on a popular online forum focused on developments in Indian broadband has furious and surprised users sharing a list of websites blocked by their Internet service providers. Going through the thread and my Twitter interactions, India's Department of Telecommunication is behind the block.

Some users say they are not able to browse the file uploading websites, others say they can access and download content. A screenshot shared by Sunny Chahal on Twitter confirms that the block is in effect. Some other users are seeing the same notice. The error message:

Users of popular Internet Service Providers MTNL, BSNL and Airtel have confirmed seeing the same error while visiting some or all of the following websites:

The decision behind banning the websites looks like piracy. Most of these websites are widely used to  share content production houses and record labels would want users to pay for. Users are comparing the ban to Internet rules in China. The Department of Homeland Security in the US also made definitive moves against piracy by seizing domains of websites hosting pirated content.

As of now there is no official word from the DoT, the story will be updated as we get more information.

(hat tip to @kalpik for the headsup.)

Update: Reliance BIG Pictures obtained a court order to get the sites banned. Users are reporting that most of these websites are now working.


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