You know when you have hit the big league on the internet when you start getting attention at governmental level. It seems that there is a bit of an international ‘pissing match’ going on between a quasi Indian government puppet company named E2-Labs and an Italian security company Zone-H.com.

I have no real clue what they are at battle over, but this BNN Article seems to be at the heart of the trouble.

I was contacted by someone purporting to be with some Cyber Crimes unit in India who demanded that I hand over email and IP address information on an individual who had left a comment. I declined, our policy is not to give out that information, BNN holds peoples privacy in high esteem.

I did however say that if I was contacted by a US based Attorney or Government official who could verify that compliance in this matter is covered by US law, I would comply.

Our Cyber Crimes expert got a little huffy and went away.

This was the letter I received that started this idiocy.

I am a firm believer that you capture more wasps with honey than you do vinegar. I didn’t like the tone of this persons emails, and so I dug my heels in.

Today I received the following:

Page One

Page Two

Page Three

Page Four

What I find interesting is that this is not a criminal case, but a civil one. These documents clearly talk about a beef between E2-Labs and Zone-H. What is interesting is that this set of documents shows that E2-Labs (India based) are petitioning to put this article  www.bloggernews.net/12409 under censorship. I guess if the Chinese can have the Great Firewall, India can have the Vindaloo Wall.

For those of you in India that cannot access the article, here is a reprint.

It has been brought to the attention of Naavi.org that the Government of India might have blocked the website zone-h.org. Naavi.org has therefore checked the background of the non availability of zone-h.org from India and  place its reading of the situation as under.

As of now (march 11), it appears that the site zone-h.org is not accessible in India.  Zone-h.org is a reputed information security website often referred to by security professionals and there is no apparent reason for the same to be blocked because of any content on the site.

However what is interesting is to note that the site has been carrying a few articles in recent days which are critical of a Hyderabad based company called E2 Labs. In a recent article, Zone-h has categorically stated that E2 labs has been trying to attract investors with certain project information which states that zone-h is a business partner for E2 labs. The site zone-h.org states that it has no business relationship with E2 labs and the contents of the documents released by E 2 labs and accessed by Zone-h.org through wikileaks is false. (For a copy of the complete article visit http://www.naavi.org/cl_editorial_10/e2labs_zoneh_org.pdf )

If the contention of Zone-h .org is true, then a serious question is raised on the business ethics of  E 2 labs . It is open for Zone-h.org to take appropriate legal action against E2 labs. If the contents are incorrect,  E2 labs can take-up defamatory action against zone-h.org.

In this fight, readers may wonder where is the scope for blocking of Zone-h.org website because it carries a potentially defamatory article on E2 labs. So far except when political leaders such as Sonia Gandhi or community icons such as Shivaji have been defamed, Government has not taken any action to block the websites. In fact the Government has developed a cold feet even in blocking of kirtu.com. It is therefore surprising that potential defamation of E2 labs is considered sufficient ground to block a respected website such as zone-h.org.

In information just received, it appears that CERT In was not instrumental in the blocking of the website but the same was ordered through a Court action in Hyderabad.

One option available for Zone-h.org now is to request for reconsideration of the Court decision which should have been restricted to removing of the contentious article alone instead of blocking of the website.
At the same time we need to take note that the document referred to in the article also highlights that E 2 labs is the “Principal Consultant of CERT_In”.  It also states that it is going to be appointed as an advisor of Defense establishments etc.

Since CERT-In is the nodal agency for the national cyber security of India, if the charges made by Zone-h.org is true, E 2 labs would be unsuitable for partnering CERT-In.

In veiw of the fact that this is a serious national security issue, it would be better if Government of India makes a suitable statement clarifying the role of E2 labs in national cyber security. In particular, public are entitled to know if E 2 labs is really the principal consultant of CERT-In and if E 2 labs is also going to be appointed as a consultant for the Indian Defence Forces as they have claimed in the said document.

Naavi of naavi.org

This whole deal is BS! I could care less than less about this story. It seems to boil down to a fight between Curry and Pasta. From a culinary point of view I would take Indian over Italian every time. When it comes to fighting over computers, I could care less.

Personally I think it is a Cyber Crime that large US computer companies ‘out source’ their telephone tech support to India and other countries. Hell there are even off-shore collection agencies!

I am hoping that I have heard the last of this boring, pointless, and time wasting escapade.

Simon Barrett

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