Last month we had reported how BSNL was unethically redirecting new page requests to a promotional page. As some users had reported to us that they were being redirected to mail.bsnl.in the first time that they would attempt to load up a page after connecting to broadband.
BSNL is going beyond the scope of “captive control” where at least the control happens at the start of internet access. Instead BSNL controls the access even after that event has occurred, to every DNS request. It is like being waylaid all along the journey several times by the same gang, again and again!
BSNL in its defense has declared that automatic redirection to the URL mail.bsnl.in has been configured in all the BNGs of Multiplay Network. This re-direction will lead to mail.bsnl.in page only when the customer starts a new session.
The salient features are as follows.
- When the customer initiates a broadband session and requests an URL of his choice through the browser, that very first HTTP request shall reach BNG and BNG will automatically redirect to mail.bsnl.in. The redirection will happen only at first session.ie. at the time of switching on the modem or when the existing session completes 24 hours, whichever is earlier.
- Afterwards, this redirection will not be applied, and the customer can browse the URL of his choice.
- This default redirection to BSNL mail is applicable only to Broadband customers.
- This redirection mechanism is compatible only for HTTP protocol and not for HTTPS i.e the customer will be redirected to mail.bsnl.in only for first http request and if the customer tries to browse https page, this will not work.
- Now-a-days, many of the banking sites, mail/messaging sites like Google, Gmail, Facebook etc., are based on HTTPS protocol, hence the present redirection may not create any issue for banking transactions.