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CIC website inaccessible again outside India

The website of Central Information Commission

The website of Central Information Commission   | Photo Credit: https://cic.gov.in/

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Just a glitch, says Chief Information Commissioner Bhargava

While the website of the Central Information Commission (CIC) has been inaccessible in many countries since the beginning of the year, Chief Information Commissioner Sudhir Bhargava says there has been no policy decision to block the website outside India.

The CIC is the highest appeal body under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. Its website, cic.gov.in, offers facilities to file appeals online, as well as a database of all appeals and decisions. The RTI Act specifies that “all citizens shall have the right to information”, which would include non-resident citizens.

On Sunday, Indian citizens living in the United States, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Vietnam told The Hindu they could not access the site. RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra (retd), currently in the U.S., said he had been unable to access the site when trying to file an appeal on New Year’s Day, and had informed CIC officials as well as National Informatics Centre (NIC) officials maintaining the site on January 2.

On Facebook posts over the weekend, social media users noted that the site was also inaccessible in Canada, Australia, Germany, Dubai and Singapore.

However, Mr Bhargava told The Hindu, “It is just a glitch,” adding that no specific decision has been taken to make the website inaccessible outside India.

Commodore Batra says this is not the first time access to the website has been denied outside India. After a similar instance in August 2018, he had filed an RTI request seeking the reasons behind the denial.

The response to his query from the CIC’s public information officer merely said: “Due to some unknown technical error, the access to the CIC website through some of the channels was not available,” adding that once the issue was brought to the notice of the NIC, it had been corrected. It also said no instructions or policy communications had been issued by the government to block the website.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:24:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cic-website-inaccessible-again-outside-india/article30486520.ece

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