Facebook: A Mauritian tragedy?

Eddy has just told me of an article to appear in Today’s edition of Le Mauricien on the Mauritian’s Governement wish to block Facebook (i.e. censoring the social networking website).

This must be a silly joke.

I guess Joel de Rosnay will be very very unhappy if this news is confirmed tonight. And Microsoft too with the money they have just injected in Facebook. And, of course, everyone who is a partisan of free speech (and this includes me).

Whoever is behind this is a retard (if true of course).

An update

The article is now online and states:

“Les Mauriciens étaient incapables ce matin de se connecter au site Internet de réseau social Facebook. Dans un communiqué émis hier, le gouvernement, à travers l’Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), a demandé aux fournisseurs d’accès Internet de bloquer temporairement l’accès au public à ce site prisé par beaucoup d’internautes mauriciens.

L’ICTA affirme que le site ” is currently hosting contents of defamatory nature “, d’où la décision d’en faire bloquer l’accès. Selon Trilok Dwarka, Chairman de l’ICTA, une personne aurait usurpé l’identité du Premier ministre, Navin Ramgoolam, en créant un profil à son nom, comportant également sa photo. De nombreux commentaires diffamatoires auraient été publiés sur cette page. ” Selon la loi, l’ICTA est autorisée à prendre les mesures nécessaires en cas de diffamation “, précise le chairman. L’ICTA a pris contact avec les responsables de Facebook pour leur demander d’effacer cette page, et l’accès au site a été rétabli en début d’après-midi.”

So, it was just a storm in a tea-cup. But wait! Who has ever told ICTA that they have the right to censor 1,000,000 Mauritians from accessing Facebook (or any other Internet site for that matter)??? They could (should?) have asked the Facebook admin to get rid of the profile without disrupting normal access to the website.

This is un mauvais précédent and I don’t like the smell of it at all. You should think twice the next time, ICTA. We are not going to tolerate censorship in our Republic of Mauritius once more.

Comments

  1. James Bond says:

    Well I can see the site from UK :-). Or for that matter anybody in Mauritius who can remote connect to their office network in Europe. By the way the web site is funny and has some links in youtube.

  2. Funny is good, isn’t it? :-)

  3. Indeed, it would be interesting to know what Joel de Rosnay thinks of all this. Moreover, there are other politicians there, not only our Prime Minister – just blogged about that too :)

  4. this is sick!

    this is perverted!

    you just can’t come in and say what information people are allowed to see and what not… that’s not democracy and freedom.

    I’ll be suffocated in such an environment, am not a facebook maniac, but nevertheless, the internet isn’t the government’s, i don’t give a damned about their ethics or rules, the internet is simply not theirs to rule. That’s an invitation for revolution.

    and who the heck ever came up with this stupid idea???
    Anyone with half a brain can proxy from somewhere else and access that! Sa plito mo meme mo ti all travay la ba si ti ena pou prend bann decision osi couyon ki sa!

  5. True.

    The important issue here is that the PM (or his staff) have the right to ask Facebook to delete the (false) profile.

    But that bloody ICTA has no right, IMHO, to block a website from 1,000,000 Mauritians. I don’t think (but I may be wrong) that they are allowed to censor.

    And let’s not talk about the ISPs who chickened out. They have a contract with us and they failed to do their “best effort” to serve us. Pathetic.

    This would never ever have happened in a developed country. The only conclusion I can make is that there are still a lot of underdeveloped minds here.

  6. non, there are too much of cowards, we should go down on the streets and start burning tires!

  7. So tomorrow if i post a false info on the PM on my blog… the all Blogger blogs gets BANNED!?!?!

    Mauritius is turning into a banana republic… :(

  8. OH!!dats why was getting problems connecting since Tuesday..in fact had to do a presentation on this topic n couldnt use the website at all from tuesday till this morning(thursday).

    Am so curious to know exactly when they came to knw about their fake profiles ;-) how come they came to knw about it so late?? lol

  9. My personal view is that the PM couldn’t care less. He drives an Aston Martin for God’s sake. He does not “waste” time on Facebook like us :-)

    It seems that one or two yes-men at ICTA decided to do something “grand” to please the PM… and they pulled the trick because of the complacency of the ISPs we have here.

    Signs of being servile to the extreme, methinks.

  10. hmm… following that logic, if 2moro one Mauritian started a pimping business in United States, and the business being called N4vin R4mg00lam side business, then mauritius will stop having any flights to the US? or go at war against them…lol?

  11. Ajay Ramjatan says:

    I sent this to the chairman of ICTA

    I am appalled after reading an article on the online version of Le Mauricien stating that the ICTA asked local ISPS to block access to a
    web page because the ICTA deemed it carried defamatory material.
    Seriously, what are you thinking? Will you decide to censor other material because it does not fit in the ICTA’s criteria? Way to go ICTA for trying to become the moral police. Please act like a
    responsible regulatory body.

    I sincerely hope this act of censorship strikes back at you.

    Regards,
    Ajay Ramjatan

  12. way to go :)

  13. Congrats Ajay!

    I was thinking of a petition but I believe we need to create media awareness. I’ll try to talk to some of my friends who are journalists. This is too much a serious matter to let things go.

  14. David Channe Vy says:

    Funny it took so long for those ‘geniuses’ at the ICTA to take such desperate and oppressive measures. Don’t they have better things to do with taxpayers’ money, than spend the whole day scanning and deleting profiles on Facebook?!? As Selven said, I wonder if they ever heard about proxies?

    Sometimes I feel like we’re being treated like a bunch of retards!

    Avinash, watch your back! “Ti-Frere” (a.k.a Big Brother à la sauce mauricienne…) is watching you! Hehehe… ;)

  15. Ha! ha!

    I wonder what the real “Ti-Frère” would have thought of all this Internet and social networking phenomena :-)

    Being an artist, he would have loved it for the power it gives to people to express themselves.

    Mauritius has some many very stupid people doing very stupid (and, hence, dangerous) things. And we don’t have a lot of time to rectify this… As Joel de Rosnay said the other day, there is a lack of national strategy and direction at many levels in our country.

  16. hey there
    well
    this really sucked
    thank god am not in mtius right now
    anyways
    am currently in china
    and it aint better
    a currently in a hotel on the huawei university campus for foreign trainees
    over here many sites are blocked
    wikipedia is blocked (god knows am a wikipedia addict..)
    until recently even google was blocked..over the whole country
    also i cannot view any wordpress.com blogs
    and everything called proxy is blocked
    damn
    this sucks
    the worst ..i cannot connect to phdcomics.com..this is really painful!!!! am a phdcomics addict!!!
    anyways
    cheers

    ps:i think we should not let this go just like that
    we should raise our voices..

  17. Ajay Ramjatan says:

    Indeed ICTA has set a DANGEROUS precedent. Does it mean that if the common man finds something defamatory against their person online, they can ask the ICTA to block the content? How about porn? Porn is technically illegal in Mauritius. How about we submit a list of major porn sites to the ICTA for blocking? Hell, lets take a list of all religion-offending opinion sites and ask them to block those. After all, religion is a sensitive topic in Mauritius right?

    I wonder how they did that blocking. Was it a DNS redirection or a block to the IP addresses of HI5 Network. *BEEP*.. looks like someone at ICTA does not know that one IP address can hold hundreds of sites, some unrelated to the content they want to block.

    I am really surprised.. looks like ICTA is doing what its supposed to protect us from: overzealous ISPS who want to censor content and perhaps, lose their common-carrier status.

    The positive thing is that all of you who have had a fake profile mocking you setup on sites like hi5, facebook etc can just ask ICTA to block those sites. After all, if they did it for the prime minister, they will do it for the common man.

    I bet you a mine frire that they did this to “brosse le ministre dans le sens du poil”

    Really, Media Awareness it the way to go but I know no reporters. Can any of you help?

    Sad day for the Internet community in Mauritius.

    Regards
    Ajay

  18. Ajay Ramjatan says:

    Haha, neat idea.. Lets ask Sam Ammigan to ask ICTA to block access to youtube because it carries video of his skits without his permission. OMG!!

  19. How many Mauritians use Facebook? And Prontube is watched by more and more underage local peeps here…

    And what does that good for nothing Frenchie de Rosnay have to do with this? He is the one who always criticizes Mauritius during the Ramgoolam days. Pathetic.

  20. hahaha ajay, tro bon!

    :p mais if porn is blocked, telecom will suffer massive losses!

    Am sad that people don’t understand what this means, this day itself i was talking about this to my dad.. well if that was a news paper censor, he would have been pissed, but telling him, some internet website was censored by some dumbass who works at the icta to kiss the @ss of navin, well.. he just doesn’t get see the problem in it. This should be news’d as in “1984 by George Orwell,Revisited by ICTA”

    In another country this would have already caused lots of turbulence in the society!

    +selven

  21. ravishj says:

    wow our PM becoming famous in the internet community also. but i do fink that ICTA shud have informed the facebook admin and get the page deleted as it infringes the right of a human being and here it’s about our PM, making bad image of a public personality and internet has no geographical barriers…[anyone anywhere can access this profile…]we fellows of this country will be judged by this wrong perception…
    fink of urself in the shoes of PM and have a fake profile made wiz ur pictures and all sort of ridiculous comments….
    Regarding ICTA i fink they have a long way to go yet…they cant censor WE MAURITIAN from a website like facebook, that also for small matters like that…it do show some amateurism of their behalf…
    anyway take care all…
    ravishj.

  22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought_police#Thought_Police

    Navin Ramsomething is turning Mru to 1984

  23. Despotism comes to my mind

  24. Dear all,

    Let’s not mix issues. In my opinion, the PM has nothing to do with this.

    ICTA asked ISPs to block Facebook and they accepted and all of them showed (i) complacency and (ii) amateurism (as Ravish said).

    This is a serious matter because for some hours we, Mauritians, have been denied our right to access information which is, as we all know, one of the most important resources of the planet.

  25. Precisely, there is no indication that the Prime Minister ordered the ICTA to then order ISPs to block facebook. If that were the case, this will only help me decide where to put my vote in the next general elections.

    Now, what I wonder about is.. who at the ICTA decides what is material of defamatory nature or not. Are we going to let the gigantic amount of content on the Internet be judged by one or a few persons at the ICTA. Was that decision taken by one person who wanted to impress the Minister?

    What if tomorrow, someone decides to make a parody of some Mauritian figure (personality or company or brand) and post it on the Internet. While parody is a valid form of freedom of expression, I fear that the censors might not get this and since some ISP might not have the technical setup to block access to one specific URL might end up blocking the WHOLE blogging service (blogspot etc.)

    Now, you probably all know about this old saying on the Internet: “The Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it” but I am thinking of the subscribers PAYING to access information and not having the know-how to route around this damage.

    This stunt from ICTA is indeed dangerous. People who say its not will only realise it some time ahead when more content is blocked. Perhaps sites criticizing the government for its environmental policy? (Ferney) ? Or some site which researches about police brutality in Mauritius and posts the information online. (Kaya, Ramlogun(sp?) etc.)

    Using broad and lame “excuses” such as “this site is hosting material of defamatory nature” will allow this very regulatory body to block access to it. Avinash, wanna bet me a mine bouille that noulakaz.net might get on the blocklist soon for “hosting content damaging to the reputation of the ICTA”? Oh.. I might end up on some kind of watchlist myself for writing this :)

    Regards,
    Ajay

  26. I was interviewed by Radio 1 about this Facebook issue. I said essentially the same things I’ve been saying here.

  27. ICTA has proved their amateurisme in a number of ways while dealing with this matter which in my opinion seriously questions their ability to act as “…national regulator for the ICT sector …” [from the ICTA website – http://www.icta.mu/home/ ICT is supposed to be one of the pillars of our economy in the coming years and it’s dangerous if an organization set up by the government is thwarting progress of IT in Mauritius.

    Amateurisme examples:
    – they could have informed Facebook and got the profile taken care of without blocking access to the Facebook site: do they not know that? If they don’t know that, they are incompetent. If they knew, it’s even worse, we have a regulator which acts like a dictator and in bad faith. Not too good if we want to have a cyber island!

    – blocking access to a social networking site show a complete misunderstanding of what the web is today; the web is about people creating information and it’s impossible to prevent people form talking on blogs and forums – the “riposte” on facebook is already there: there’s a group called: Navinbachara Ramgoolam Dictateur on the Muaritius network in Facebook – so are we going to be depreved from facebook again in the coming days? Thus trying to prevent people from talking shows (according to me) a complete misunderstanding of what the web and new the media are about – Can we accept that from our ICT regulator?

    – also they should have done their homework and got the profile of the President of the Republic and The Minister of Culture “removed”. Not doing so proves either that they have not done their homework or that they care only about the image of the prime minister and not the president (they are biased!!!)

    Finally I’d like to add that what has been done by ICTA is unacceptable, it’s similar to for example, preventing L’express from appearing by preventing it from gaining access to its press – would we have accepted that?

  28. Is comment moderation on Avinash? I posted a lengthy piece a few hours earlier and its not on.

  29. “Paradise island”, right? Who is still fooled by this? For sure not sane persons, from all over the world.

    It is absolutely horrible what is going on.
    Denying access to information presented in any form, is the most outrageous thing and, generally speaking, everything that tries to control that (and I mean EVERYTHING) must be fought against, no matter what. Even with full access to information, is still so difficult to fight against ignorance and brainwashing that is so prevalent, so I cannot tell you enough how hard is without it.

    How is Mauritius perceived outside? If we are talking about people who are not fooled by the facade, and interacted in a way or another with Mauritian society, the image is an extremely bad one: a place where ignorance and brainwashing controls life of an extremely huge percentage of population, full of people who “chicken out” as Avinash said (no matter the level of education), “underdeveloped minds” is very correct description too, and extremely easily to fool people. Not to forget “blind” people.

    But, I would like each of you to reflect at something: how much you (directly or indirectly) contribute (maybe every day) to propagation of this situation and what is the cause of your contribution to this? I know the answer for some of you but I am not giving it because you might not be able to take it.

    Just from analyzing the comments on Mauritian blogs, one from outside can get the right image immediately about some of you. For example, in the case of this subject, if one will analyze the comments posted regarding this subject on a different blog where some of you posted too, one will have an example of hypocrisy, and for sure one person should have reacted to it. Did I see even one comment regarding that? NO. So how would you call someone who says is against cowards but does not react to this case of hypocrisy?

    What shows this? Each of you, by not taking action at a much lower level, by not really knowing who are in reality the persons you meet everyday and talk with, you directly contribute to this kind of things to happen, you directly or indirectly support this kind of behavior and persons. One of these persons, over years, might get in an important decision position, and than you will wonder why some things happen.

    Persons from outside Mauritius who, seeing what is going on at a much lower level like everyday relationships (family, work, friends, colleagues, etc) and what controls life of Mauritians, are really shocked of how easily fooled one can be in Mauritius. Examples are lot to prove this.

    I am sure you do not like it, then take action, starting from your everyday relationships with others, and things will change for sure. It is not easy at all and some of you might be really shocked and disappointed to find out how easily you were/are fooled by others around you, but this will help yourself and also the other persons for sure.

    Every little step one does in the right direction will have a “butterfly effect”, and things will change for better for sure.

    Sorry if I am too straight, but I will never “sugar coat” things just to not hurt one’s ego. That never gives results.

  30. To Ajay:

    It was Akismet. And I’m sure you’ll owe me one mine bouille. I don’t think ICTA will try to block individual blogs…

    To Irina:

    I am not 100% that I’ve understood everything but I also think that some people are adept of the saying “Do what I say, but not what I do”…

  31. Wooo! Long time I’ve not been around here. Seems the Facebook affair got here too! :D

    I’ve got just one thing to say: Beware folks, Big Brother ICTA will be watching your moves now. Any false step, and you’ll see Police, NSS, CID and whatnot drop at your place, gag you and take you to unmarked locations for extensive questioning!

    Seriously, I think the Mauritian blogosphere is right. This is severe repression of freedom. Maybe of speech and information, I don’t know…

  32. Yes, that sounds like the priests … ;-)
    I will never cover that kind of people who preach on thing, and does the opposite in reality.

    Avinash, you can email me what you did not understand and you will get all clarified.

  33. As insignificant as the probability of the PM having set up the profile himself is, would it have been judicious for the ICTA to take institute the ban on their own accord?

    E.

  34. Let’s be positive about all this. It’s 10:53 on Sunday and Facebook (and Noulakaz.net :-) ) is accessible and private radios have covered the event (thanks Ishtiba).

    So there is hope after all.

    By the way, I will donate some money to Wikipedia later today. I am delighted that a free encyclopedia of such good (enough) quality exists. I use it everyday (especially when I have nothing to do – I just launch Opera on my mobile phone and browse a random article)

  35. Irina said:
    Irina said:“Paradise island”, right? Who is still fooled by this? For sure not sane persons, from all over the world.
    :p We definitely need some sort of revolution here to let ministers know that it is the people who has the power and not the other way round.
    There’s still some hope left.

    Irina said:a place where ignorance and brainwashing controls life of an extremely huge percentage of population
    True

    But, I would like each of you to reflect at something: how much you (directly or indirectly) contribute (maybe every day) to propagation of this situation and what is the cause of your contribution to this?

    What situation are you making reference to?
    If it is about freedom of information, I believe in the mauritian mindset.. information is free.. even private life of people (it is like that that for example, we know who sleeps with who in the neighbourhood).

    else if it is about people being coward and not reacting to anything, then well.. it just pisses me off that people react this way, everyone just chickens out and ALWAYS sides with the side which has more people, its almost like some people don’t have any opinions or just don’t care (well.. i don’t mind sitting and watching ppl who don’t care suffer afterwards.. its almost deliciously pleasing to watch those people suffer).

    And there are many who claims to be not cowards.. but who when time to act comes, they don’t do anything…and those are the ones who claims to be the patriots or the voice, and the others (who are mostly lambs and cows) just glorify those persons.. because it is what is projected that is more important to most people (its dumb i know, and it pisses me off also).

    Irina said:if one will analyze the comments posted regarding this subject on a different blog where some of you posted too, one will have an example of hypocrisy, and for sure one person should have reacted to it. Did I see even one comment regarding that? NO. So how would you call someone who says is against cowards but does not react to this case of hypocrisy?
    hahahaha, I suddenly just got an idea of who that person might be!

    Irina said:Sorry if I am too straight, but I will never “sugar coat” things just to not hurt one’s ego. That never gives results.
    Nice comments, but you were not that straight :p, straight means to give out names, to voice out all that is in your head and pull it out so as everyone can be shocked and say “damned she’s gross, she’s rude!”, that’s what straight it. :D
    Nice points though.

    Irina said:Yes, that sounds like the priests … ;-)
    I will never cover that kind of people who preach on thing, and does the opposite in reality.

    Generalizing,huh?

    Avinash said:Let’s be positive about all this. It’s 10:53 on Sunday and Noulakaz.net is still accessible
    Etaaa heyyyy! ajay mo croire li p rod so mine bouille!

    (especially when I have nothing to do – I just launch Opera on my mobile phone and browse to a random article)
    dimoune kapav glassE coumsa!

    +$3|v3n

  36. i think its disgusting? what about caricatures in newspapers? has chirac shutdown “les guignols”?? its these kinds of behaviour that lead to DOS attacks? and develop the hacking culture among youngsters

  37. I am delighted that a free encyclopedia of such good (enough) quality exists. I use it everyday (especially when I have nothing to do – I just launch Opera on my mobile phone and browse a random article)

    Hey, I do that, too, when I’m bored in a shop :-)

    E.

  38. @roopa
    *cracking you meant…

  39. I am always interested in identifying the root of problems, I am not interested in finding a solution to get rid of the symptoms…

    What happened with Facebook, I would qualify it as ‘symptom’ of a much widespreaded ‘disease’ (which comprises cowardice, narrow mindness, ignorance, hypocrisy, etc) that characterizes a lot the society, starting from very low levels.

    From this very low levels should eradication begin. And some are feeding this ‘disease’ without even realizing because they might have no clue what is behind the ‘facade’ of some around them, so they are so easily fooled and contribute more to the ‘sickness’ of those persons.

    So, one is fooled, two are fooled, and so on, and one day, one of these persons who have the ‘disease’ gets to a position like in this case talked about in this blog, and takes a radical measure… Is that person’s fault? Not entirely. All started from those from the lowest level who directly or indirectly ‘helped’ that person. It is a chain reaction.

    If I would not have mentioned anything about the case of hypocrisy, nobody would have noticed (in case they got it right…), or… maybe noticed before I said it and did not say anything… I used this as a perfect experiment that proves that things happen with people among you, that you know somehow, starting from very low levels. So why to be shocked by what happens at higher levels??? At higher levels is an extrapolation of what happens at lower levels. And I wanted to challenge some of you to discover it by yourselves, not me to give the answer right away (that would have been too easy). I will not enter in details regarding the benefits on one’s brain from making it to work a little in identifying these situations… and what this experiment reveals…

  40. hmm that’s a bit arrogant, the problem we already know, but how to clean the sick brain of such a big population in which each individuals are powerred by selfishness and racism? Killing a few? But then if most ppl think the wrong (subjectively), then we are the one who’s gone bad then, do we have the right to try to change them? It would take years and years to try to change the way of thinking of a small community, now what about a big country? Anywayz, some might adopt the live and let die philosophy.

  41. What is arrogant, selven???

    Truth is incredibly powerful. But needs people who are totally ‘clean’, from all points of view and very well documented. Otherwise, they will be in trouble at some point, and make fool of themselves completely…

    Not to mention that who has real experience in dealing with brains, can use blogs to analyze the way the mind of different people works and get extremely precious information like: do they have a flexible mind, are they fighters or losers, are they giving up easily, are consistent in what they say, how they deal with confrontation when they are caught with something, are they backing up their affirmations, are superficial in their thinking, etc, etc. Who wants to hire people of real value in their companies, will not limit his/her choice at how good that person is in his/her job.

    Mauritian blogs are read by people outside Mauritius too, many of them knowing people inside Mauritius, and are an absolutely wonderful source for them to perceive the reality in Mauritius at absolutely all levels. And is really shocking what one can discover just screening the discussions on different blogs.

    Oh, and it is not about selfishness and racism. Go to the root: brainwashing and ignorance. It is about education and finishing with hiding ignorance in a way or another.

    If at least younger parents will follow Christina and Avinash’s example in raising their kids, if young people would be really challenged to think (and I am not referring here to solving homeworks from school), things would change.

    When you say big population you are referring to Mauritius? You must be kidding, selven.

    If life in other countries is far much better than in Mauritius, it is for sure not because has people who think like you, as described by your own comments.

    And believe me, I know better than anybody how difficult is to cure someone’s brain. For example, I hate to see how easily Mauritian society can completely screw up a brain in a minute, making now extremely difficult to cure it again while is in Mauritius. Just an example.

  42. avinash maunthroa says:

    La face de l’ennemi http://www.lexpress.mu/images/97501_1.jpg

    There’s only ONE way to clean up the web, get rid of piracy and dismantle ICTA. I’ve some friends working on a paper – listing all warez sites, providing proof that some free file sharing sites are providing pirated content, along with some private servers and the entire red-list of porn from Kaspersky, and free proxy servers IP addresses.
    ICTA will be obliged to block all these sites. Since Mauritians are so keen @ pirating stuff, they’ll rebel and ICTA will be dismantled. In the interval of time following the blocking, open source will be @ its prime! Woohoo!
    What say you? Cool isn’t it?

    (Avinash Meetoo: I’ve edited that post slightly because it was a little bit over the top IMHO…)

  43. Hi all,

    It seems it was not the ITCA Chairman’s fault at all according to him! Pas moi sa, li sa

    Oh well, this is idiomatic behavior here in our little country.

  44. flame on

    Truth is incredibly powerful. But needs people who are totally ‘clean’, from all points of view and very

    well documented.
    And you claim to be clean from all points of view and very well documented?

    Not to mention that who has real experience in dealing with brains, can use blogs to analyze the way the

    mind of different people works and get extremely precious information like: do they have a flexible mind, are

    they fighters or losers, are they giving up easily, are consistent in what they say, how they deal with

    confrontation when they are caught with something, are they backing up their affirmations, are superficial in

    their thinking, etc, etc. And there are people who knows how to model your opinions like that by setting

    the wrong flags up in you… Its sooo easy to do that.

    Mauritian blogs are read by people outside Mauritius too
    When someone is online, there’s no such thing as “mauritian blog”, there’s only netizen, coz when i read

    something on the web, where the heck whoever wrote the article comes from. Besides, that would be really

    surprising if someone who is not a mauritian NOT to have atleast a few times stumble on a ‘mauritian’

    website/blog/bbs.


    When you say big population you are referring to Mauritius? You must be kidding, selven.

    :p subjective, , no i am not kidding, so for you it is a small population to cure their thoughts… I am

    curious what you have in mind. Other than waiting for time to cure it by itself..which it inevitable.

    If life in other countries is far much better than in Mauritius, it is for sure not because has people

    who think like you, as described by your own comments.

    :D getting personal in a debate huh? :)
    Who said life in other countries is ‘far much better’? Every country has its advantages and disadvantages, and

    you also know (since i suppose you must be into psychology something), that a human being will always be

    attracted to things he doesn’t have, which is why it is a race that will always never be satisfied, but

    definitely, I do realize that there are certain disadvantages here which makes it looks like its hell, but

    there are definitely :p almost the same amount of problems in other countries, not necessarily the SAME

    problems, but social problems, when they don’t exist, human brain invent them, so it is impossible not to have

    problems at other places, just focussing on one thing doesn’t make the country HELL. Mauritians are human and

    suffers the same bug as all human.. they’ll seek what they don’t have.

    And believe me, I know better than anybody how difficult is to cure someone’s brain.
    OMG, and you claim this is not arrogance???

    For example, I hate to see how easily Mauritian society can completely screw up a brain in a minute, making

    now extremely difficult to cure it again while is in Mauritius. Just an example.
    And this is based on the study of?

    The thing is… I am not blind, i know there are problems here, but when I see someone acting soo much “hAh,

    you are like this, like that, like blah blah blah, should be done this way this way this way this way, and i

    am all superior to all of you”, it kinda gets me really curious what really goes inside such a brain, and i

    really like to try to debate and understand the reasoning behind this!

    flame off
    +$3|v3n

  45. Selven makes a lot of sense. Reminds me of the good ol’ days on alt.mauritius…

    Eddy.

  46. btw, reading this : http://www.lexpress.mu/display_article.php?news_id=97501

    it seems to me that ICTA is “adding” a security flaw in web servers access.

    It seems to me, if tommorrow someone hates facebook, or hi5 or noulakaz, he either just registers on or post as somebody else (or himself), and then claim someone has stolen his identity, ICTA shall have to block access to that server/site for some time then…. its pityful how lame this is.

    I don’t even understand what does the government has to do with such low stuff when it comes to the internet, ICTA is supposed to only act on locally hosted contents, beyond that it is not morally correct for it to interfere or break the route.

  47. LOL

    @selven
    First you have to get who is the person who says one thing on this blog and on another one is not able to react to a case of obvious hypocrisy. You did not get it yet. Then you will see how well documented I am …

    No more comments. I am not wasting my very precious time with totally digressing and lacking substance “flame on/off” replies.
    But I am very glad to see you posted such a reply, especially that it can be seen by others around the world. It is a real masterpiece in a certain field…

  48. Ok, its 1:25 AM and I have just finished writing a reply to ICTA.

    Yes! Mr Trilock Dwarka has replied to my original email personally explaining the ICTA’s position. I will perhaps post my lengthy reply to him here.

  49. avinash maunthroa says:

    sorry for the foul word, avinash (we’ve the same name but i still have hair :p)

    @irina – why can’t you just respond? it’s not a flame war – just respond accordingly. don’t run away. time is relative. it cannot be wasted.

    @selven – i still believe icta needed some publicity (good or bad – mauritians don’t care. they just like the guy’s picture in the newspaper. is that guy married anyway? if no, will someone want to date him? – metaphore: which companies are in league with ICTA?

    (Once more, I’ve done a slight modification. You love using foul words, don’t you? :-) )

  50. I wrote this to the ICTA in reponse to their email justifying their action.

    Hello Mr Dwarka,

    Thank you for your reply. I am pleasantly surprised that you took the time to write back. The ICTA confirms that it listens to the people.

    I understand your position as a regulatory body to block access to “inappropriate” content. However you do realise that its terribly far-fetched to BLOCK access to a whole website because of one page and there are also technical complications involved.

    I am a Systems Engineer and setting up/administrating web servers is part of the things I do professionally since around 1997. One IP address may host several hundreds of sites. Often, when ISPs get requests to block access to content on the WWW, what generally happens is they block access to the IP address. In doing so, hundreds of legitimate sites might get blocked.

    I will try to illustrate the technicality

    Fictious IP address 208.77.188.166 hosts:

    1. http://www.goodsite.com
    2. http://www.othergoodsite.com
    3. http://www.oksite.com
    4. http://www.badsite.com

    In the process of blocking http://www.badsite.com (maybe for real legitimate reasons) what really ends up happening is that other perfectly valid sites are blocked since they are all hosted on the same IP address.

    Now that you have shown the ICTA is actively “policing” the Internet, do expect lots of requests to block access to websites. Local artists will perhaps request you to block youtube.com because their performance has been uploaded there without a copyright license.
    Expect religious groups to request ICTA to block sites that “offend religion”. The list could go on and on.

    I also question the effectiveness of blocking access to facebook.com because our Prime Minister’s image has been tarnished on that site.
    What does it achieve really? Prevent some Mauritians looking at that page while thousands of others abroad still view it? What has instead been achieve is that the floodgates for content-filtering has been opened and thats my personal grief. A request to facebook to takedown
    the offending profile would have sufficed. I have friends who have had fake profiles of themselves setup on social networking sites because of petty arguments that they have had on chatrooms with other people. A simple email to the administrators sufficed.

    If I were a stakeholder, I’d ask the ICTA:

    1. What if the facebook administrators decided that the page was a Parody (a valid form of freedom of expression) and refused to take down the page. Would local ISPs be required to block facebook indefinitely?

    2. If indeed that page was a blatant attempt to tarnish the image of our Prime Minister and the perpetrator behind it decides to mirror the page on a dozen other social networking sites and blogs, would the ICTA request a temporary blockade on the other sites until the content is taken down? In today’s world of broadband (And kudos to the ICTA for actively working towards providing cheaper and faster Internet access to Mauritians) such pages can be duplicated to dozens of sites in a few minutes.

    3. If I, as an ISP start to actively block content, how does this affect my “common carrier status”

    4. Perhaps the solution is to block access to content only after getting a court order to do so.

    Alas, I am not a stakeholder but I’d appreciate if my comments were taken into consideration, as a citizen.

    Mr Chairman, in requesting feedback for your position Paper, please do consider the technical implications and “freedom of expression” issues involved. I am sure that you, as I, would hate to go to sleep in the Republic of Mauritius and wake up let’s say.. behind the great Firewall of China.

    Thanking you beforehand for the attention that you have given to my opinion.

    Regards,
    Ajay R RAMJATAN

  51. @Ajay: :p am curious to know its content.

    @avinash maunthroa: the thing is, …is ICTA being administerred by someone who is in the field of computing + law?
    I believe it is run by people who are old, know some law, and have got the post as “political rewards”, but that’s just my opinion, and may not be the truth, nevertheless, that’s my opinion.

    @avinash[of]noulakaz.net: lmao, those edits of foul words might end up in a section of “funniest edits” of the blog..lol, the guy will just re use foul words again, and hahaha, you’ll need to re-edit.

    maunthroa, he has already lost most of his hair, no need to make him lose the rest with editing of post now, hahahahahaha…

    @Eddy: lol

    +$3|v3n

  52. Akismet, I so hate you :(

    Can you release my last post Avinash?

  53. Done!

    I wonder why Akismet loves you so much… Must be something you have done in the past :-)

    By the way, your letter to the ICTA Chairman is excellent. Why don’t you send it to Le Mauricien or L’Express?

    Let’s hope that ICTA will not try to do something as stupid as they did again.

  54. hehe, ajay you sure rock the base!

    Indeed send the mail to a newspaper :p

    But then you must make sure that icta doesn’t close down the newspaper for a week to prevent that to get out :p.

  55. This is astoundingly appalling.

    Is anyone responsible for this at ICTA or at the ISPs going to be held accountable for this?

    The Internet is the last stand of real democracy and real republicanism.

  56. what about Paul Beranger? I’m pretty sure I saw a white moustache by that name in there somewhere… Unless that was the actual Paul Beranger.

    I’m reading through these comments with a mild headache, which is probably the appropriate mindset. Allows you to skip over the heavy paragraphs and catch the interesting one-liners.

    As far as i can tell, the whole affair revolves around porn and mine bouie. It would probably make more people angry if either were banned. except the second should be for sanitary reasons.

  57. Although it may sound appalling at first, maybe it’s good to understand the kind of people behind ICTA and their background. Mr Trilok Dwarka and his collegues have grown up in a different era — that of blatant censorship. It was common to have films censored in their days (a single frame of nudity was often cut in old films, rendering the plot difficult to follow). They grew up around it and consider applying the same values to the internet.

    “ This is an insult to our prime minister and our international image, we must do something !” was most probably what they have thought. He probably didn’t weigh the consequences of blocking temporarily the website “ let’s just block access to this website till they make amendments. ” How much do you bet they would have blocked world-wide access to facebook had they been given that power ?

    The truth is that sadly Mr Trilock Dwarka and his collegues did not understand the internet ideals, from the start. Have they read T.Lee’s KBE essays ? My bet is that they do not know who the man is. Indeed to them they probably have negative opinions on the internet focused solely on the negative aspects (pornography, paedophilie, among others). They never imbibed themselves of the “internet culture” ( anyone saw them on usenet or irc or even a forum ?). Although it may sound paradoxical their deficiency is they lack proper education (even though they are degree holders). Perhaps then, they should consider a different job that suits them better. The bottom-line is that present members of ICTA are not apt for their job ; they should make room for truly qualified people who understand the internet culture and its underlying mechanics.

    Again this is just my opinion.

  58. Nice comment Logan.

    It’s true that a lot of people (especially those of my generation and older) don’t understand what the Internet is and (more importantly) how it operates.

    Let’s hope that this Facebook episode has contributed to make ICTA and the Government understand cyberculture.

  59. facebook updated its term of use. I wonder if anything of this had to do with anything of that…

  60. It was not up for ICTA to block. It was the role of these whining citizens to inform Facebook, or that of the PM himself.

    Extract from the Terms of Use of Facebook:

    “impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity;’

    The interview of your wife is awesome: http://www.lexpress.mu/display_article.php?news_id=98206

  61. FB doesn’t seem to be interested in fake profiles of Mauritians.
    But it is interested in others’ fake profiles.
    URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7170329.stm

  62. This is legitimate as fake profiles are against the terms of use of Facebook.

    What I condemn is prohibiting Mauritians from accessing Facebook for hours while some (one?) fake profiles are being removed.

  63. Chou from Mauritius says:

    That’s truly bullshit. If this happens again, perhaps PROXIES may be of use.

  64. I was wondering why my peeps and homies weren’t on facebook anymore. Thanks for clearing this.

    I think that what Mauritius needs is competition on broadband providers. Let’s see some Indian, european and african providers get in there and show the government that to be a true ‘cyber city’, one needs to provide over 4 megs per second services, freedom of accessing any site needed. Information is key and a site like Facebook can be an incredible advertising solution for Mauritius.

    Blocking facebook doesnt raise confidence on the cyber island. If such an innocent site is blocked, who knows what might be next. CNN? BBC? Anyhow, thanks for the blog and god bless Mauritius.

    Wawa.

  65. aishah says:

    so according to you, what course of action facebook should adopt?

  66. What do you mean?

  67. so according to you, what course of action facebook should adopt?

    I believe there’s nothing facebook can do about it, its just as is, you report, then they remove, because you sincerely don’t want a central authority that authenticates you with your REAL information [i.e it links to somewhere with your national id card etc..] just to verify you are you, that would cause major uneasiness online community, and secondly many [me inclusive] would feel that there privacy is being destroyed.

    Maybe facebook can give away information about the ip and time a fake profile was created… but then, you can’t really know what is fake and what is real online, and when you register they say they don’t sell your personal information without your authorization.

    Now if you asked “what course of action facebook should take when it comes to mauritian government blocking it?”, then facebook has no words in that, it just have to STFU and remain quiet and let the government do its job!

    +$3|v3n

  68. Girdhari says:

    when we want to do something good every government of every country will always do something not let us go further. we must be patient and go on ” the dog barks and the caravan goes on”.

  69. Some dude played with the image of the Optimus Prime, some other dudes went bezerk and decided to ban the whole facebook to prevent any undesired effect.
    Loads of mauritians jumped up and down crying ‘Freedom’ at the top of their voice.
    Others listened to rage agaist the machine real loud with a ‘know your enemy’ pumping in their house. Its funny we mauritians mourn a free access to facebook but hapily allow pirate dvds, games and music albums to be sold everywhere on the island.

  70. I don’t think you can compare the censorship of Facebook with piracy. One is about freedom and the other one is about economics.

  71. Is lèse majesté a crime in Mauritius?

  72. NAsif ( says:

    @ Avinash .. av come across an article on your blog and this might be helpful for me for ma disertation am @ uom and an executive of Network Soc as well ; ) could you plz give me your mail … the soonest plz!!! ma disertation deadline is the 31st march :S thx in advance ..

  73. avinash AT noulakaz DOT net

  74. I’ve found a free anonymous browsing proxy here http://www.surfshuffle.com, thought I’d share with whoever is interested before it gets blocked

  75. Stand up and stand out, no authorities have the right to decide what you see, hear or do, unless its a matter that involves crime. Other than that, we are free and should remain as such, with no influence from anyone. If they get to decide for us, then who are we?

  76. Hey hey hey guys, this blobk thing is total dumbshit. Anyone could download a proxy service like “Elite proxy switcher” or “your freedom” and use a proxy to access facebook even if blocked. That whole whole censor thing is shit anyway. Lets just say cassam uteem just tried to epic fail and succeeded.

  77. Don’t worry. That’s what we did. And I don’t think the event has anything to do with Cassam Uteem…

  78. awotarsing@dhruv says:

    We pray for peace in Mauritius.
    This country is weeping becuase of tearing inti pieces of this community during this period of election

  79. True. But let’s hope the pieces come together again after the elections…

  80. Taking into consideration the filthy and vile anti-Islamic rants by the VoH on facebook, where do we draw the line? Just a few weeks ago communal riots were narrowly averted in Triolet. Mauritius is perenially on a tinderbox.

  81. Facebook is a new media.

    Some people will use it “correctly” and some will use it “incorrectly.” The interesting aspect of Facebook (and the web in general) is that it is “outside” Mauritius and, therefore, can’t really be regulated by Mauritian laws. In other words, with new technology, I think we’ll tend towards having something like the First Amendment in the USA which allows anyone to say anything (basically.) Then, you don’t have to care about the emitter but on the intelligence of the potential receivers.

    “La population est en train de devenir plus mature.”

    Do participate on Elections.mu.

  82. Ketwaroo D. Yaasir says:

    @Avinash.

    well said. people who are offended usually do it to themselves.

  83. Joysen says:

    Blocking social networking website is not a bad idea.

  84. When? By whom? And what for?

Trackbacks

  1. […] after the Facebook – ICTA controversy, Trilock Dwarka, Chairman of the Authority, has admitted that the decision to block access to […]

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