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India blocks Web sites, restricts bulk SMS

The Indian government asks ISPs to temporarily restrict access to a number of Web sites, as well as halt the sending of bulk SMS, after a spate of threatening messages.

The Indian government has asked ISPs to restrict access to a number of Web sites, and has prevented bulk SMS messaging for two weeks.

Over 150 Web sites were blocked over the weekend according to official sources, PC World reports, after a large number of people received messages over SMS or online that threatened reprisals for recent violence in Assam between Muslims and indigenous communities.

In addition to the restrictions placed on text messaging services and Web sites, some people have also been charged for sending threatening messages.

According to the publication, India's Ministry of IT and Communications has also notified a number of Web sites including YouTube and social networks like Facebook to take down any "inflammatory and hateful content" posted by their users, typically aimed at people from northeastern India.

Earlier this year, all of India's major ISPs blocked torrent sites including The Pirate Bay and Torrent Reactor, as well as a number of video and link-sharing sites such as Vimeo and Pastebin, following an injunction granted by the Madras High Court.