ECONOMY

Monthly Archives: AUGUST 2017


No one knows why?
Govt. blocks Internet Archive in India, makes it harder to catch liars on the web
09.08.17 - team pt
Govt. blocks Internet Archive in India, makes it harder to catch liars on the web



The Indian government has blocked access to the internet archiving website known as the Wayback Machine, according to media reports and people attempting to access archived sites in India.

The Wayback Machine is run by a non-profit called the Internet Archive. It trawls through the internet and takes snapshots of thousands of websites and archives immense amounts of data. It does this so that people can go back and examine what a website, official, company, or anything really might have said or shown on a webpage at a certain time in the past. Supporters of the system view it as a 'public service', as it gives people a tool to catch out liars who might have tried to erase something that they said or promised in the past.
 
 

Users who tried accessing the website on Tuesday were greeted with a message from their ISP that read – "Your requested URL has been blocked as per the directions received from the Department of Telecommunications, Government of India. Please contact administrator for more information.” For now the blocking seems to be sporadic as many users can still access the site. But users on Airtel broadband, BSNL, Hathway, and Tikona have reported a block.
 
With the Wayback Machine blocked, Indians will find it difficult to catch liars on the Internet. It may even hit India's attempt to root out corruption, doublespeak and is likely to make a number of government bodies less accountable to citizens.
 
 
Although the Wayback Machine is a very useful and valuable tool for public, it is not particularly liked by government bodies because it allows Internet users to catch lies. For example, on a particular date a government department may publish a circular. In future if it withdraws the circular, something that happens quite frequently whenever the government has something to hide, it could still be found on the Wayback Machine.

In recent days a number of web users have pointed out the disconnect between what the UIDAI, the agency behind Aadhaar, noted earlier on its website and what it later did. To prove there was a mismatch between the talk and deed of the agency, many internet users relied on Wayback Machine.

The Wayback Machine is also useful in keeping a record of the promises made by politicians and organisations. For example the news reports from a particular date, even when those reports have been deleted by the organisations that wrote them, could be highlighted through Wayback Machine to showcase how a government wasn't keeping its promise. 
 
Wayback Machine has been archiving the World Wide Web for over 20 years now. It has archived over 300 billion web pages, and stores nearly 15TB of data. It is one of the most utilitarian sites on the web, and allows users to archive pages, access archived pages for free, and also get hold of several terabytes of music, movies, books, and software that are free from copyright.
 
Incidentally, this is the second instance when Internet Archive has been blocked in India. Back in 2014, a threat from terrorist group ISIS had prompted the government to block 31 sites, including archive.org, GitHub, Vimeo, Pastebin, and Weebly among others.
 
The Internet Archive meanwhile has said it wasn’t contacted by the Indian government, nor did it receive any response to its own queries about the block.




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Govt rejects it as 'frivolous'
Cong. claims RBI printed different types of Rs 500 notes, calls it biggest scam of the century
08.08.17 - team pt
Cong. claims RBI printed different types of Rs 500 notes, calls it biggest scam of the century



The Congress on Tuesday alleged that two different kinds of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes were printed post demonetisation, "jeopardising the credibility" of Indian currency, and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi clear the air on the issue.

The opposition party, which disrupted proceedings in the Rajya Sabha over the issue forcing its adjournment for the day, said the "discrepancies" in the printing of the new high denomination notes were in terms of their size, design and other features.

It asked PM Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to explain as the issue "raises questions over the country's financial structure".
 
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who flagged the issue in the Rajya Sabha earlier in the day calling it the "biggest scam of the century", said the opposition party would keep raising it in Parliament until the government explains its stand on the issue.

"Today we have discovered why the government took the demonetization decision. The RBI prints two types of currency notes. These are of different size and different design... how is it possible?" questioned Congress leader Kapil Sibal, waving a placard with the two notes.
 
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said that one kind of note was "for the party [Bharatiya Janata Party]” and the other "for the government”. "We never printed two kinds of notes, one for the party and one for the government - there are two kinds of Rs 500 notes and two kinds of Rs 2,000 notes.”
 
The government hit back by accusing the Congress and the Trinamool Congress of raising "frivolous" issues and creating confusion in the country by making such claims. 
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, however, accused the Congress of making irresponsible statements, and claimed that the party was misuing the Zero Hour. He later said he would verify the authenticity of the notes. "Given such a big print run there can be an odd case of a currency note being slightly bigger or not.”

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned following the incident.




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