1. 857 porn sites banned in India; Govt plans ombudsman for Net content

857 porn sites banned in India; Govt plans ombudsman for Net content

Demand for porn, however, seems strong. Pornhub, an adult entertainment website included in the ban, last year said India ranked fifth for daily visitors.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: June 7, 2017 5:56 PM
porn ban in india

Porn ban in India: India has blocked hundreds of adult websites to prevent pornography becoming a social nuisance, a government official said on Monday, sparking a debate about censorship and freedom in the world’s largest democracy. (Reuters)

The government has ordered blocking of 857 porn websites and plans to put in place an ombudsman to look into cyber content-related issues, even as a debate raged on social media over Internet censorship.

The Department of Electronics and Information Technology has asked Internet service providers to take down 857 porn websites, an official said.

The official, however, said it was a temporary measure till the final orders are pronounced by the top court.

Explaining rationale for the decision, a top government official said the government has merely complied with the Supreme Court directive asking for measures to block porn sites, particularly those dealing with child pornography.

Government asks ISPs to block 857 porn websites, but will it work? (Watch video)

The official, however, said that since the issue is very complicated, the case must be heard in detail by involvement of NGOs, civil society, parental groups, child councillors, ISPs and government, and after hearing the views of all, let the court come with some guidelines.

There is a view in the government that when proper guidelines on the issue will come, it will create a healthy stabilising factor in the country.

“The government must be away from this whole process (blocking of porn sites). On the issue of national security, terrorism, extremism, communalism, government will have the final say…beyond that the social media divide comes into operation, let there be an ombudsman to take a call, like the TV ombudsman is there,” the official said.

The ombudsman could be a retired SC judge or somebody from the civil society. The official said all the stakeholders can give their views regarding the regulatory mechanism that should be adopted for the cyber content related issues.

The order to block porn websites, however, faced flak over social media with commentators calling it censorship of Internet.

On July 8, the government had assured the Supreme Court that all possible measures would be taken to block porn sites.

The assurance came after a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu expressed its unhappiness that things have not moved forward and the petitioner in the matter was making all sorts of submissions.

“You have not blocked the websites. The petitioner is saying so much,” the bench, also comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy told Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, said.

The bench had said no interim order can be passed in the matter which has to be examined after going through the counter-affidavit of the government department.

The apex court had earlier asked the Secretary, DoT to file an affidavit on whether the government was competent to issue direction to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block porn sites particularly those showing child pornography.

The service providers had submitted that they on their own cannot block such sites and they can do so only on the direction of the government.

It was submitted that the Centre had failed to devise mechanism to block such sites and absence of Internet laws encouraged people to watch porn videos and as it was not an offence.

Commenting on the criticism, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the NDA government was committed towards freedom on social media and Internet.

“I reject with contempt the charge that it is a Talibani government, as being said by some of the critics. Our government supports free media, respect communication on social media and has respected freedom of communication always.

“My government is committed towards freedom on the social media and communication on the Internet,” the minister said.

Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, in a series of tweets, had criticised the ban of porn websites in India.

Calling the move “regressive”, Varma had tweeted that to “deprive consenting adults of the harmless fun they are having of watching porn is equivalent of what Taliban and Isis is doing to freedom”.

List of porn websites banned in India

  1. B
    BRIJ MOHAN
    Aug 24, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    The person who are opposing BAN ON are really mentaly sick stupid qualified buffalo. It means that they also support polygamy, free culture including rape which is also choice of groups democratic country. WHAT A SHAME for country , which is root cause of mental sickness, crime rape against woment is being supported by qualified buffalo. This IS ALSO CAUSE OF DIVORCE because user has perverted mind and never be happy and satisfied with one wife. SUPPORTERS MAY BE FROM PROS UTE FAMILY SO THEY ATRER SUPPORTING IT. NO any celebrity is GOD so why Indians are giving values to their non sense tweet. They have no feeling for downfall of society. A well cultured moral educated society can not be possible with USE.
    Reply
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      PM Reddy
      Jan 12, 2016 at 7:10 pm
      It's really a great initiative by the government, and I am really thankful for the people who put efforts for this cause. and I personally feel that by watching I have deviated myself from achieving my goals. as I am from a background where 80% of the people are not educated. for the future of my brothers, it would be very helpful if we discourage them watching until they are fully educated.and it will give very good results if we guide/mentor them against watching it. PM Reddy Nalgonda, Telangana
      Reply
      1. D
        dslm
        Aug 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm
        I think this is a perfectly fine move. There should be an option available to register for . By default no is available. The worry is If the filtering mechanism filters out genuine non- pages.
        Reply
        1. M
          Malti
          Aug 3, 2015 at 4:59 pm
          Watch this instead and think of Make in India Click on:
          Reply
          1. J
            Johny
            Aug 27, 2015 at 1:29 am
            Be constructive to use the internet to achieve something, really needed. Otherwise, stop providing internet connection for everyone who is seeing sites in their computer/laptop. Then we, who are using internet for good reasons, will get more data with less cost.
            Reply
            1. P
              Peter Hayes
              Aug 4, 2015 at 7:24 pm
              Excellent article on How to unblock all the banned websites in India:
              Reply
              1. P
                poda
                Aug 4, 2015 at 12:02 am
                first take action on the two politicians who watched during a parliment session and then decide on banning on ..
                Reply
                1. B
                  BRIJ MOHAN
                  Aug 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm
                  politician who have lot of money, They are habitual watcher for fun.
                  Reply
                2. J
                  JORDAR THALIA
                  Aug 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm
                  Nobody is going to die or fall into sickness for being not able to visit these sites.
                  Reply
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