After getting banned by Wikipedia as an acceptable source for citation, the Daily Mail, which happens to be the UK’s highest circulated daily newspaper, has found an unexpected territory where it’s no more welcomed – India.
The Mail joins the club of over 5,000 websites that have been blocked by Indian ISPs. Most website bans are never publicly announced or acknowledged by either the Indian government or any of the ISPs who blacklist the DNS addresses of these websites to restrict access.
Our team tried opening their website dailymail.co.uk via several ISPs including Airtel, state-owned BSNL, Reliance Jio, Hathway, and Vi. The website was not accessible through any of the ISP’s networks, returning DNS-related errors including ‘DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN’ and DNS_PROBE_POSSIBLE’. Furthermore, the address for the website returned negative on MassDNS, an open-source high-performance DNS root resolver often used to check access for multiple sites.
In July, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur mentioned that 747 websites, 94 YouTube channels, and 17 social media accounts were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 between 2021-22. However, the Ministry never shared any details regarding the websites that were taken down or the exact reason why their access was restricted.
Earlier last week, a popular mobile game ‘Battlegrounds Mobile India’ was taken down from Google Play Store and the Apple App Store for it’s links with China’s Tencent. BGMI had more than 100 million users in India and its ban is being considered a ‘massive setback’ for the growing Indian mobile esports community.
The Daily Mail has been one of the world’s longest-running newspapers that has won the National Newspaper of the Year award from The Press Awards eight times, the Orwell Prize, Hugh Cudlipp Award, and was selected as ‘Daily Newspaper of the Year’ for 2020 by the Society of Editors. However, the tabloid has also faced many accusations of sensationalism, racism, and homophobia.
Interestingly, its Indian edition ‘Mail Today‘, hosted by the India Today group, was still accessible. However, its ePaper website epaper.mailtoday.in was giving a security warning due to the lack of a valid SSL certificate but was still accessible.
Neither the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting nor Press Information Bureau commented on the issue.