IFF received multiple complaints of irregular website blocking by ISPs (namely ACT and BSNL) in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The ISPs have justified a couple them as responses to directions from the Government. IFF has written to both DoT and TRAI to take up the matter
- Background: Armed with publicly sourced complaints, IFF approached the Department of Telecommunications on the continuing net neutrality violations and BSNL on insertions of code injections. However, there has been pin drop silence in response.
- Need for an action: The lack of a mechanism in place to provide redressal or cooperation from BSNL has led us to take a forward a three-pronged action approach.
Referring to our previous correspondences on 29.05.2019 with Ref. No. IFF/2019/112 (Read here), and on 27.03.2019 with Ref. No. IFF/2019/107 (Read here), various complaints received by us have been documented in the representations indicating net neutrality violations through summaries of reports received along with an anonymised document of the various complaints of violations. In addition, our representation to BSNL with Ref. No. IFF/2019/110 has also specifically disclosed the occurrences of code injections inserted into non-https websites (Read here). To combat atrophy, we have have deployed a combination three step move.
Three-Pronged move to get a response
Step One: RTI with BSNL
Having provided various crowd sourced complaints of such browser/code injections against BSNL along with our representation, we received no response. As a result, we filed an RTI with Ref. No. BSNLD/R/2019/50935 has also been filed with BSNL for information on its use of code injections. We have requested for copies of action taken to our complaint and any other complaints it has received and reasons if there has been no action taken as well.
Step Two: RTI and Complaint to the Department of Telecommunications
In addition to our previous representations, we have once again written to the DOT once again, firstly, providing clarity on how code injections are a violation of the Unified Licenses that govern ISPs and secondly, on its lack of response and need for action (Read here for more). Additionally, an RTI with Ref. No. DOTEL/R/2019/50637 has also been filed with the DOT on action taken in response to our complaints as well others on net neutrality violations.
Step Three: Report to Cert-IN
As a finishing touch, we have filed an Incident Report with Cert-In on the various instances of code injections we have received and also identified by attaching it as evidence. Many of these code injections have been termed to be malicious. To clarify the issue, we have provided a letter providing the reason for our complaint (Read here for more).
As we wait for the responses from these various bodies, IFF will continue to document any and all net neutrality violations users might face through our online reporting tool.
Please do report any violations you come across at https://savetheinternet.in/report/.
Links to important documents
- Incident report and Representation to Cert-IN (link)
- Representation to the Department of Telecommunications on the lack of action on Net Neutrality violations dated 29.07.2019 (link)
- Representation to the Department of Telecommunications on continued reports of Net Neutrality violations dated 29.05.2019 (link)
- Recent representation to the Department Of Telecommunications on reports of net neutrality violations dated 27.03.2019 (link)