Government directs internet service providers to ban 857 porn sites

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PornographyThe department of telecommunication (DOT) on 2 August, issued a notification under Section 79 (b) of IT Act asking internet service providers (ISPs) to block more than 800 pornographic websites.

More such sites are being reviewed by the communications ministry upon the instructions of the court. However, senior officials acknowledged it is difficult to track sites on a regular basis.

Social networking sites had pretty good traffic since 1 August, as porn sites, which have the word porn in the URL, were banned in the country after some users pointed out that they could not access such sites. However, Airtel users still had access to porn sites as on 2 August evening.

It may be mentioned that Indians are among the most “popular users” of porn web, accounting for 40% of 14.2 billion visits. While Mizoram consumes the most amount pornographic content online, Delhi finishes at a close second.

Many Indian porn lovers were amazed to note porn sites were inaccessible on most ISPs, including MTNL, Vodafone, ACT, BSNL and Hathway. On searching for popular porn sites like Pornhub and Redtube, all they saw were blank pages.

“When I checked last night it was opening fine, but this morning it seems all the popular porn sites are blocked,” said a Vodafone user from Kolkata.

Experts said, there were no legal provisions for the government to ban porn sites. Section 69(A) of Information Act doesn’t not provide it any ground to ban any of these sites.

It may be recalled here that the Supreme Court had refused to pass an interim order last month to block pornographic websites in the country, saying “how can a person above 18 years be stopped from watching the sites within the four walls of his/her room as it would be a violation of article 21 or right to personal liberty”, said Chief Justice of India HL Dattu in a public interest litigation filed by an advocate to ban pornography websites in the country.

 

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