Down the Tube…Indian ISPs start censoring porn websites under instructions from the government

Posted: 3 August, 2015 in world
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Read more South Asia Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

mtnl logo Twitter and Reddit users are reporting that state-owned ISPsMTNL and BSNL andprivately-owned ISPs ACT,Spectranet,Tikona,Asianet andHathway are blocking access to major porn websites. Mobile operator Vodafone is also blocking these websites.While some users are just getting a This site has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority, others are seeing a message that indicates that the sites are being blocked as per directions received from Department of Telecom, Government of India. Some users are just getting blank pages or Directory doesn’t exist, error message.

This move seems to have been somewhat unexpected, with perhaps the notable clue from July, when a Supreme Court bench responded to a request for blocking of porn websites saying:

It is an issue for the government to deal with. Can we pass an interim order directing blocking of all adult websites? And let us keep in mind the possible contention of a person who could ask what crime have I committed by browsing adult websites in private within the four walls of my house. Could he not argue about his right to freedom to do something within the four walls of his house without violating any law?

The bench asked additional solicitor general Pinky Anand why the MHA had not taken any action on the list of websites and also not filed any response to the petition as sought by the court. Anand assured the court that the needful would be done:

The ministry will soon file a response to the petition and detail the action taken. All necessary steps under the Information and Technology Act will be taken.

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