India to prosecute 21 Social Networking Sites

Google and facebook were warned yesterday that their websites can be “blocked” like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove objectionable material from their web pages.

As a further development, the Government of India granted sanction to prosecute 19 other social networking websites, apart from Facebook and Google. The Union government on Friday said there was sufficient material to proceed against them for offences of promoting enmity between different groups of people.

They are “doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony” and hosting content that is “provocative, assertive and propagates prejudicial to national integration (sic),” it said.

The Hindu has more details

India to block social networking sites “like China”?

The Delhi High Court on Thursday warned social networking site Facebook India and search engine Google India that websites can be “blocked” like in China if they fail to devise a mechanism to check and remove objectionable material from their web pages.

“Like China, we will block all such websites,” Justice Suresh Kait said while asking counsel for Facebook and Google India to develop a mechanism to keep a check on and remove “offensive and objectionable” material from their web pages.

The two companies had moved the High Court seeking a stay on summons issued to them by a Delhi trial court that is hearing a private criminal complaint against them. Justice Kait did not stay the proceedings against the two websites before the magistrate’s court. The case comes up for hearing at the lower court today.

Former Additional Solicitor General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Google India, said the postings of “obscene, objectionable and defamatory” articles and other things cannot be “filtered” or “monitored”.

“No human interference is possible, and moreover, it can’t be feasible to check such incidents. Billions of people across the globe, post their articles on the website. Yes, they may be defamatory, obscene but cannot be checked,” Mr Rohatgi said.

He tried to distinguish between Google India and its US-based holding company Google Inc. “The US-based Google Inc is the service provider and not me (Google India) and hence, we are not liable for the action of my holding company. Moreover, it is a criminal case where a vicarious liability can be fastened on a company which has no role, whatsoever, in the alleged offence,” the lawyer argued.

Citing provisions of the Information Technology Act, the counsel for Google India said these websites are protected by the law in respect of such “objectionable” material so far as they are not the authors. The websites, he said, may lose that legal protection if they either modify or monitor an article or comments or fail to deal with the complaints of an affected person or the government on such issues.

More at

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ICANN begins accepting accepting applications for new gTLDs

New generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) promise to expand the domain name system (DNS) and change the Internet forever. Your chance to apply for your own gTLD is nearly here.

The decision to apply for a new gTLD should not be entered into lightly. Applying to run your own gTLD is not the same as registering a second-level domain name. When you apply for a new gTLD you are applying to run a registry business. You will be responsible for a critical and highly visible piece of Internet infrastructure. Just as Verisign is responsible for all the domain names registered in the .com top-level domain, so you would be responsible for all the domain names registered in your .something gTLD.

While operating a top-level domain registry offers exciting opportunities and rewards, it carries great responsibilities as well.  The purpose of this brief is to help prospective applicants evaluate the new gTLD program by considering the benefits as well as the risks and responsibilities.

Potential Benefits

  • Entrepreneurship. Create your own business model and establish accessibility policies for your TLD. If your customers want tighter security, make your TLD a high-security zone.
  • Increased control. You set the rules and the price for those registering your TLD.
  • Ongoing revenue stream. Your customers could renew their domain names year after year.
  • Innovative marketing opportunity. Build better brand definition, brand awareness, brand loyalty and trust by having full control over your own TLD.
  • Innovative business models. When new gTLDs combine with other emerging Internet technologies, such as IPv6, RFID chips, and cloud computing, new products and services are possible.
  • Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs). Increase market reach by making the Internet completely accessible to users whose local languages use non-Latin characters.
  • Engage your community. Create a rallying point for supporters of your cause, community or culture to unite with a community-based TLD.
  • Bring together your geographic area. Celebrate your local citizens, commerce, activities, and culture with a geographic TLD.

Risks and Responsibilities:

  • Investment. In addition to the US $185,000 evaluation fee and ongoing registry operating costs, applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial depth to keep the registry fully operational for at least three years even if the business plan does not achieve its objectives.
  • Loss of Investment. There is no guarantee you will get the string you applied for.  If you do not pass the extensive evaluation process you could lose some or all of your initial investment. As with any new business, getting the operation started does not guarantee that revenues will profitably sustain it.
  • Contractual restrictions. Running a TLD means you must comply with all the obligations of your registry agreement with ICANN. Even more restrictions exist when running a community-based TLD.
  • Staffing. Running a registry requires employing highly skilled technical operators and/or negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement with a trustworthy technical partner.
  • Competition. Your applied-for TLD could compete with a same or similar string(s), and indirectly with all TLDs, both generic and country code. If approved, your new TLD could encounter competition from unexpected sectors.
  • Uncharted territory. You will be pioneering on the cutting edge of technological innovation in a relatively new sector. You may have to find your way without other applicable business models for guidance.

This is not a complete list of all the risks. Do not rely on this list alone. You should do your own independent research and consult your own technical, business, and legal experts. This list is provided only as general information to get you started.

The introduction of new gTLDs will affect most organizations. Whether or not you decide to apply for a new gTLD, you should still pay attention to the process. In May 2012, once all the applied-for strings have been posted, you will have an opportunity to object to any that you believe would infringe your legal rights. Refer to Module 3 of the Applicant Guidebook for details on the objection process.

How to apply:

A good starting point is here:

Applying for a new generic top-level domain (gTLD) involves filling out a form that poses 50 questions. The questions are substantive, involved, and perhaps not always self-explanatory. This recording of a 75-minute session from the ICANN meeting in Singapore, June 2011, puts experts to work explaining for you the intent behind the questions, what constitutes a “good” answer, and which responses weigh the heaviest. Essential viewing for any organization intending to apply for a new gTLD.

ICANN new gTLD application process


( reproduced from )

Is it true that Apple, Nokia, RIM supply backdoors for gov’t intercept?

This article appeared in ComputerWorld Blog on January 8. Posted here without comments on the authenticity of information:

…. begin CW Blog Post:

Previously a group of Indian hackers called The Lords of Dharmaraja had posted documents that were pillaged during the hack of an Indian military network. That Pastebin post was removed, but can be viewed via Google cache.

Computer World RINOA document

More of the story continues to be unveiled such as when Slashdot reported:

The memo suggests that, “in exchange for the Indian market presence” mobile device manufacturers, including RIM, Nokia, and Apple (collectively defined in the document as “RINOA”) have agreed to provide backdoor access on their devices. The Indian government then “utilized backdoors provided by RINOA” to intercept internal emails of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government body with a mandate to monitor, investigate and report to Congress on ‘the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship’ between the U.S. and China.

Here’s the really interesting parts numbered 3 and 4:

Although security and privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian tweeted about a possible “intercept backdoor” that Apple has provided to governments, (as seen in paragraphs 3 and 4 above), there were additional interesting insights found while reviewing other @csoghoian tweets. One said, “Instead of worrying about hackers getting access to 5+ year old Norton code we should worry about what NSA/US Military does with recent code.” In another, Soghoian tweeted,

—- end of Computer World Article

Could it be true that Nokia, RIM and Apple opened up to Government interception?

It is no longer directives only to ISPs and Telecom companies. The lawful or not-yet-lawful pressure to open up for “lawful intercept” is now extended to Phone Hardware Manufactures, Computer Hardware Manufactures, possibly even Chip Manufacturers and other component Manufacturers. Perhaps even hard disk manufacturers. Governments in some or many countries are probably exploring or implementing methods to build in secret doors to own capabilities to intercept communication of any kind.

I am concerned, not because Government of India is alleged to have intercepted US China Economic and Security Review Commission as ALLEGED and MAGNIFIED in this article (You spy on us, we spy on you, is a game that Governments play all the time)

What concerns me is the fact that there is an allegation of phone and computer hardware companies in addition to telecoms and ISPs forced to compromise on the integrity of their products and services “in exchange for market presence” in one or two billion-population geographic regions, quite possibly also in billion dollar geo-regions. This is happening, as reported, now for inter-governmental intercepts, but it would soon lead to wider compromises resulting in the intrusion of user’s private space. (Or, is it already happening?) Governments (not only India as magnified in the Computer World article) pressure companies, even ones that are global and very large and make them open secret doors for surveillance of computers, phones, and all communication.

There are clear signs of this happening in a phone or computer you ‘own’ or on the cloud which hovers all above you.

I have always suspected that this has been happening from the time a Global Software Company in the US was harassed on anti-trust charges ten years ago. Even that probably had some thing to do with untold pressures on the company to open back doors in their operating system. (Perhaps. I don’t know. Don’t know at all. All that I am saying is entirely based on what occurs in my mind. I have not read or heard anything that supports this theory.)

Is the pressure on companies such as Nokia so overwhelming? (If what is said in the article is true)

Naveen Lakshman, an IPv6 professional and a member of Internet Society India Chennai was the first among our Chapter Members to react to this news shared on facebook: He agrees “Yes they arm twisted against RIM….now all vendors are forced to cooperate with Govt’s … plans of spying”

Chapter Members are invited to share their comments on this by email or as comments on this blog.

(I have edited the above post after publishing a better written article in CircleID on this topic)

– Sivasubramanian M


Internet Society announces its Deploy360 program

Deploy360 is a new initiative within the Internet Society that aims to bridge the gap between the IETF standards process and final adoption of those standards by the global operations community. Deploy360 provides real-world IPv6 and DNSSEC deployment information including technical documents, case studies, best common practices, and more. Other topics will be added as new technologies are finalized by the IETF.