by August 19, 2011 0 comments

Even as Anna Hazare has intensified his crusade against corruption, the government seems to have resorted to all ways to block the Gandhian’s campaign and it is reported that bulk SMSes to garner support for the cause is blocked by many service providers in the country. Though there is no official ban on bulk SMSes, the services are apparently blocked by bulk SMS service providers, since the telecom service providers associated with them have felt that the SMSes for Hazare’s campaign have ‘objectionable’ content. In the earlier stage of the campaign the SMSes had played a crucial role in reaching out to the people.

Following his detention on Tuesday, the social media platforms have once again gone viral about the crusade but the government has apparently resorted to using all possible means to silence the campaign. When a team associated with the Anna Hazare campaign contacted a couple of bulk SMS service providers on Tuesday, as they wanted to send 8 lakh SMSes, the service providers apparently refused to do so. These bulk SMS service platforms reportedly said there was huge pressure on the telecom services providers from the Home Ministry and police department not to entertain such text messages.

When contacted by CIOL, digital communications solution provider NetCore said there is no instruction from the regulator to block the bulk SMS, and NetCore is just a platform to send bulk SMS.
NetCore CEO Abhijit Saxena said that over one crore people have registered with the India Against Corruption campaign but on Tuesday they have not sent any SMS for the group because they have not received any instruction from IAC to send the SMS. When asked if NetCore would be sending the SMSes in future, he said, “We would decide upon it when asked by India Against Corruption.” On the other hand, those who are associated with the campaign said that the bulk SMS partners are not willing to send the SMS. Meanwhile, Vinay Agarwal, MD, Unicel Technologies confirmed to CIOL that the company on Tuesday received request from India Against Corruption to handle a campaign which involved sending 50 lakh to 1 crore SMSs.

“As per our normal process we have asked the IAC to send us the content of SMSs to be delivered. We will take a decision based on the content of the messages,” he said. Agarwal further said he was not aware why IAC contacted the company only now and said there was no instruction from operators or any regulatory authorities against handling the IAC campaign. However, a spokesperson from India’s telecom regulator TRAI told CIOL that the government has not instructed any service provider to ban any bulk SMSes, including that of team Anna.

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