More websites including ghs.google.com blocked in Sri Lanka?

Reports online and which I received through email indicate that more sites are being deliberately or inadvertently blocked in Sri Lanka, with most of the disruptions occurring on Sri Lanka Telecom ADSL broadband connections.

Some reports claim that domains hosted on blogger.com are being blocked, and other reports indicate that this is now a matter that is resolved. Other reports confirm that sites resolving to ghs.google.com were blocked and that ISPs have now removed the block. It is not clear why ghs.google.com was blocked.

Several organisations with their emails hosted on Google Apps reported severe problems with logging into their web mail, though POP / IMAP access worked fine.

Lanka News Web, itself blocked in Sri Lanka, now reports that another news website, Sri Lanka Guardian, is also blocked.

Coming soon after the IGP’s directive to all ISPs to “suspend licenses” of porn websites in Sri Lanka, it is worrying whether these are the first stabs at a more pervasive web filtering system in Sri Lanka.

5 comments on “More websites including ghs.google.com blocked in Sri Lanka?

  1. Sie.Kathieravealu
    July 30, 2009 at 6:13 am #

    Restrictions on the “Freedom of Information” would not lead to good governance.

  2. amila
    July 30, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    Yes. I checked with SLT and TRC. If there is a porn site hosted in an IP address, the IP address is blocked resulting all the sites using that IP address being banned. SLT says its beyond their control as its what the circular from TRC says😦

  3. Dina
    July 30, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    SLT and other ISPs have blocked the IP ghs.google.com (72.14.203.121) because a porn website is hosted in the same IP. This is a poor technical decision made by coutry’s no 1 ISP. Dialog , as usual proves its strength in technology by blocking the porn site URL only ( Not IP based blocking)

  4. Nalaka Gunawardene
    August 3, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    What is the role of the Colombo University School of Computing (UCSC) in all this? There have been media reports and official announcements that they are technical advisers to the TRC/SLT on this porn-blocking exercise. If they can’t handle the technicalities without disrupting services or wholesale blocking out a global service provider like Google, they must acknowledge incompetence and hand it over to someone else. There is no bigger danger than a over-zealous monkey given a razor to cut, cut, cut. (And remember what happened to the king in that story whose loyal monkey tried to kill a fly lying on the king when monarch was asleep?)

    If UCSC is indeed involved in this level of technical interference of people’s access to the web, it also raises other issues. It’s one thing for lackey officials of a statutory body to make ill-advised decisions, but quite another for academics and technical staff at a supposedly autonomous university to implement those measures…and throw the baby out with the bathwater in that process.

    Will Ruwan Weerasinghe and team please speak up?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Twitter’s down and Facebook is slow, not just for Sri Lanka « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - August 6, 2009

    […] knows when a site doesn’t load in Sri Lanka whether the good folk at SLT have blocked it to protect our morals. Fearing the worst when Facebook was sluggish and Twitter refused to load, went to Google and found […]

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