The Bhutan infoComm and media authority (BICMA) has directed the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to block the anonymous website, Bhutanomics.
Kuensel learned that the block is the result of a Phuentsholing district court order. It has also been learned that a person filed a defamation charge against the website. Further details could not be obtained.
BICMA did not comment on the issue as of last night.
While three of the country’s four ISPs confirmed the BICMA directive to block the website, private ISP DrukCom has currently not blocked the website, according to its proprietor, Rinzy Dorji. He said that the ISP has not received any directive to block the website.
The Bhutanomics website appeared on the internet in early 2012, and allows users to post articles on current and past social and political issues, both serious and satirical.
The website was mentioned in the media earlier this year, when it alleged that one of the ISPs, Druknet, had blocked it, given that Druknet users could not access it, while users of the country’s three private ISPs could.
The current block was enforced yesterday. However, the website is currently still viewable, using proxy websites or servers.
By Gyalsten K Dorji