IIPM websites brought down by Anonymous as angry reactions continue to pour in on Twitter

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IIPM websites brought down by Anonymous as angry reactions continue to pour in on Twitter
IIPM websites were targeted by hacker group Anonymous on Saturday who claim to have brought down as many as 16 IIPM-related websites for around 9 hours. Meanwhile, the reactions to IIPM blockgate continue to pour in and there's very little support for IIPM or  Arindam Chaudhuri.

IIPM, or Indian Institute of Planning and Management, is a popular management school based in Delhi with Chaudhuri as its dean.

The controversy began on Friday when MediaNama posted copy of a new DoT order asking ISPs to block 78 URLs. 73 of these URLs contained material related to IIPM and/ or Arindam Chaudhuri.

The blocked URLs included content from The Indian Express, The Economic Times, The Times of India, The Wall Street Journal, Outlook Magazine, FirstPost, Rediff, The Caravan Magazine, and others. On the face of it, all blocked URLs seemed to carry content critical of IIPM and/ or Arindam Chaudhuri.

Interestingly, the list of entities also featured a government organisation, the UGC, which found its order highlighting the unrecognised status on IIPM on the banned list. Reacting to the development, UGC Chairman Ved Prakash said, "We will be talking to our advocates on Monday about this development before taking any action."

A report over at Livemint later noted that the DoT directive was issued on the basis of a Gwalior court order.

As expected, Twitter users were up in arms against the order, with the move being criticised by one and all. Minister of State for Human Resources, Shashi Tharoor, was forced to issue an explanation with many irate users looking towards him for a reaction. "I have written to @milinddeora asking him to remove the DOT block on the UGC website" and "Assume @milinddeora will look into those. Blocking a UGC site concerns my Ministry." @milinddeora is the Twitter handle of Milind Deora, the Minister of State, Communications and IT, the ministry under whose purview the DoT falls.

"As per routine process, we only complied with court order and did not have any role in making the list of URLs (web pages) to be blocked," Director General Indian CERT (under DEITY) Gulshan Rai told PTI.

Other users on Twitter, including organisations and individuals whose names featured in the block list, continued to react in defiance as well as anger. The Caravan tweeted saying they were posting the blocked article at a new URL."The article on IIPM's lawsuit against The Caravan, blocked by DoT, is now available on our website here", the tweet read.

Advertising professional Mahesh Murthy, who has over 52,000 followers on Twitter, also reposted his bit.ly 'bundle' of IIPM-related links.

Meanwhile, the man at the centre of the entire controversy, Arindam Chaudhuri, said since everything was happening within the legal frameworks of the country, there should be no questions asked of him. "Go and ask why in the first place they had shamefully put defamatory content? If the law says defamatory URLs should be banned ,and that is how it is world over, everyone should rejoice because tomorrow they could be at the receiving end of a malicious campaign and they might want justice," he told PTI.

#IIPM continued to trend on Twitter throughout the weekend and early Monday morning.

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Further reading: Anonymous, Arindam Chaudhri, DoT, IIPM, India
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