The Department of Telecommunications has sent a circular to ISPs ordering them to block 32 urls, which includes sites like vimeo, github, pastebin, dailymotion, and archive.org, among others.
We tested to see if the block was effective from our Noida office -- while github.com is still up, vimeo.com and archive.org are indeed down. Here's the message we see now when trying to access these sites.
Pastebin is still blocked in India. We are getting many reports about this. The Indian government has blocked us,... http://t.co/6jqnHcgtIP— Pastebin.com (@pastebin) December 26, 2014
Pastebin.com acknowledged the block on its Twitter handle on the 26'th, a screenshot of the circular was been posted by Pranesh Prakash, policy director of CIS India on Twitter. The notification hasn't given any reason as to why these sites were blocked, but it's quite likely that these are due to a copyright claim. According to Pranesh the notification was issued on December 17'th.
Internet Archive, the non-profit digital library has also acknowledged the block.
— Internet Archive (@internetarchive) December 31, 2014
Arvind Gupta, head of the BJP's IT division tweeted that these websites were blocked for carrying Anti-India content from ISIS.
The websites that have been blocked were based on an advisory by Anti Terrorism Squad, and were carrying Anti India content from ISIS. 1/2— Arvind Gupta (@buzzindelhi) December 31, 2014
The sites that have removed objectionable content and/or cooperated with the on going investigations, are being unblocked. 2/2— Arvind Gupta (@buzzindelhi) December 31, 2014
Coders and open source enthusiasts who use Github are venting on Twitter on the hashtag GoIBlocks. This isn't the first time that the DoT has blocked websites - vimeo, piratebay, and other torrent sites were blocked in 2012 due to a copyright claim, but were later unblocked a few months later. 267 websites were blocked on July 7, 2014, after Sony complained that its 2014 FIFA World Cup telecast rights were being infringed upon.
Update: We checked all the other URLs listed above on the 1st, and they are all unblocked on an Airtel broadband connection. According to a release filed on the Press Information Bureau's website, the government had decided to unblock 4 websites - weebly.com, vimeo.com, dailymotion.com and gist.github.com. The additional director general of police of the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), Mumbai had requested the blocking of 32 websites which were being used for "jihadi propaganda" on November 15'th.