Telecom operators say Twitter traffic can't be blocked from specific areas

Telecom operators say Twitter traffic can't be blocked from specific areas
Citing technical problems, telecom operators have refused to adhere to an order of Home Ministry for blocking Twitter traffic from specific states including Gujarat, Kerala, Assam and UP in the backdrop of social media being used to fan communal trouble.

The Department of Telecom was requested to consider technical feasibility of a request from the Home Ministry for monitoring Twitter traffic.

"Twitter Inc may be directed to all traffic emanating from addresses in the states assessed by the Central Intelligence Agencies to be sensitive in the current prevailing situation in Kerala, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh," official documents said.

This was conveyed to BSNL, Tata Communications, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Reliance Communications as well as the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI). In its reply, Tata Communications said it does not allocate Internet Protocol Addresses to its customers on a state-wise basis. "Specific area wise/state wise blocking of website is technically not feasible," it said.

The state-owned BSNL also said it is not possible to block website on circle basis and Reliance Communications said the blocking has to be at the gateway locations and can't be made specific to area or state wise.

Idea and Bharti also said its not possible to block. ISPAI said "we would like to inform that it is technically not feasible to block website state wise."

The Director of DoT Subodh Saxena said in his communication that " in the present scenario that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) having majority of Internet subscribers have not allocated addresses area or state wise and it would not be possible for them at present to carry out specific area wise or state wise blocking of website."


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