Election Commission of India lifts fence on one website
Access to one of the two websites of the Election Commission of India has been restored to users outside India over the weekend.
This comes after complaints by retired commodore and RTI activist Lokesh Batra who realised there was geofencing (denial of access to servers outside India) during his ongoing personal trip to the US.
The Telegraph had reported on Saturday that https://eci.gov.in/ and https://www.nvsp.in/ were both inaccessible to users from abroad. This especially affected researchers or anyone interested in historic poll data.
NVSP is now accessible. But the main ECI site became accessible only for a short while, before users abroad were again barred on Monday. Batra said that he was told by an EC official that the geofencing was done in 2020, although he was not given a reason.
The EC is yet to respond to queries from this paper on the issue.
The move to geofence the website came at a time when the EC was pushing for extending postal voting for NRIs.