*New Delhi: *India has cut off access to the Internet Archive, a
San-Francisco-based website that hosts the popular Wayback Machine service.
Its a twenty-year old digital archive of the world’s publicly accessible
Users who tried reaching the archiving service last night encountered an
error message: “Your requested URL has been blocked as per directions
received from Department of Telecommunications, Government of India” – a
notice that has been used in the past when high courts across India ordered
the blocking of a particular webpage.
In a move that is likely to upset free internet enthusiasts, the Indian
government has blocked Wayback Machine (or Internet Archive – *archive.org/web
<http://archive.org/web>*) on some ISPs. Wayback Machine is a
California-based non-profit that has been archiving the World Wide Web for
over 20 years now. It has archived over 300 billion web pages, and stores
nearly 15TB of data. It is one of the most utilitarian sites on the web,
and allows users to archive pages, access archived pages for free, and also
get hold of several terabytes of music, movies, books, and software that
are free from copyright.
Although it’s unclear why the internet archive has been banned or how
widespread the ban really is, it seems that a number of ISPs in India have
banned access to the website.
The block was first reported by Medianama, who stated that the website was
blocked on Airtel cellular and MTNL fixed line. But currently, the website
is available via Airtel, Vodafone cellular networks, as well as Airtel and
Spectranet, fixed line internet connections.
NEW DELHI: The Madras High Court in two different orders has identified a
list of 2,650 websites that have been blocked to avoid unauthorized
distribution of Hindi films Lipsick Under My Burkha and Jab Harry Met
The orders dated July 21 and August 2 direct ISPs to block these websites
as part of a week-long interim injunction. The website archive.org, which
was recently discovered to have been blocked was part of this list.
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