With regards to the article below I would question the assumption being made that Singapore regularly blocks URLs. As far as I am aware a recent study indicated that sites are rarely blocked and those that are tend to be pornographic like playboy.
Bloggers' fury as India blocks sites
Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi
Wednesday July 19, 2006
Indian censors have blocked access to a number of popular blogging sites on grounds of national security, causing outrage to thousands of bloggers.
The directive from the department of telecommunications (DoT) came days after the Mumbai blasts, and was aimed at shutting 17 blogs which carried material from religious and political extremists. But service providers were forced to cut all major sites, including the popular Geocities, Typepad and Google's Blogspot. Since then cyberspace has been filled with angry emails from bloggers in India who have attacked the government's "ham-handed, delinquent" move.
Ironically, the Mumbai blasts helped raise the profile of blog sites after many were used to update users on what was happening on the ground.
India has some 40,000 regular bloggers and their sites hum with subjects ranging from the mundane and political to matters rarely found in polite conversation in India.
"This is a clearly an infringement of fundamental right [of freedom of speech]," said Sanjukta Basu, a lawyer who blogs at meateccentricitydotcom.blogspot.com.
Ms Basu says a 300-strong Delhi blogging community is considering a petition to the high court.
"The government only ordered to block some 20 blogs and has a duty to ensure this is carried out in an orderly manner without infringing our rights. So we are looking at the courts."
Lawyers say there is a good chance the government "will be put on a tight spot" by the case. "They have a point because the inability to filter these blogs has infringed article 19 of the Indian constitution," said Pawan Duggal, a lawyer specialising in internet law.
Mr Duggal said another route for the government would be to make bloggers and blog sites liable for the content. "There are provisions under the information act. The real problem is that there is no mention of blogs and bloggers in the legislation. The technology has left the law behind."
Bloggers say they can still access their sites using a Pakistani-based service called pkblogs. "It is completely ridiculous. India is meant to be a democracy. We are not living in China here," said EM, who writes anonymously at thecompulsiveconfessor on blogspot.com. "The silly thing is I can still get to my blog by going via pkblogs."
Experts say the real problem is that Indian service providers do not have the technical expertise to block individual pages.
"Countries like Singapore and China have the ability to block specific pages and URLs. But they do it regularly. India does not and should not," said Prasanto Roy, president of the Dataquest Group, which analyses technological trends in India.
Mr Roy said the internet was designed so that if information was blocked it could be re-routed with ease. "The internet was built to resist these physical barriers. Information is mirrored and copied quickly. I think what happened here was just some idiot in some ministry decided to block these sites without thinking it through."
Government officials were scrambling to stymie the criticism of their actions. Gulshan Rai, director of the computer emergency response team, which is responsible for India's cyber-security, said: "Blogspot.com should not be blocked." He added: "What we need to do is work with service providers so that we block individual pages. Just give us some time."