After banning porn websites, Reliance Jio apparently blocking VPNs, proxy websites

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New Delhi | Updated: January 9, 2019 6:01:23 PM

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio is also seemingly blocking torrent indexing websites and multihost platforms.

Source: Reuters

Post the porn ban in India, VPN and proxy websites had been a Godsend to resourceful Indian consumers who never let any ban disrupt their activities and found new ways to circumvent any bans or blocks by the government or their Internet service provider. However, it is likely that the government and ISPs have noticed that and the clever solution offered by VPN servers and proxy websites is ostensibly coming to an end soon.

As per an ongoing thread on Reddit the previous week, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio, which happens to be the third largest telecom operator in India, is going to block proxy websites on its network. The proxy websites are useful when it comes to avoiding the geographical location and thus bypassing the Internet restrictions. Some of the popular ones are proxysite.com, hide.me, kproxy.com, hidester.com, anonymouse.org, zend2.com, whoer.net, megaproxy.com, and vpnbook.com.

The Reddit thread by a user named Alpha-Grizzly, observed that Reliance Jio was blocking proxy websites such as hide.me, whoer.net and vpnbook.com. The user wrote, “This is outrageous. They have blocked hide.me, vpnbook.com and whoer.net/webproxy. Sometimes using https solves the issue. But my question is what’s next to be banned? They have already banned porn along with normal websites like behance.net and collegehumor.com. This is moral policing.”

The outage of select websites was also corroborated by several other Reddit users in replies later on. Moreover, Jio is also seemingly blocking torrent indexing websites and multihost platforms, say some Reddit users replying to the thread.

Many users even offered solutions – one user, who goes by pat_at_exampledotcom on Reddit, wrote, “Assuming you’re on Android, you should be able to work around this by setting your own DNS servers (use google or open DNS). Try this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.burakgon.dnschanger&hl=en_US Edit: This app, though popular, has a sketchy privacy policy: https://burakgon.com/privacy.html”

READ ALSO | Jio bans popular adult websites like Pornhub, Xvideos after DoT order

As per reports, on the blocked proxy websites, the ISP throws the following message while visiting: “You are not authorized to access this web page as per the DOT compliance.” FinancialExpress independently tested out some websites – both proxy and torrent indexers, and found while some of them are opening only to an extent where the links to torrent hosts are mapped and not beyond that, others just “can’t be reached” on Jio’s Internet connection. Using browsers such as Opera opened some websites on Jio network, while VPN apps also worked sometimes, as we found.

It remains to be seen which DoT rule the telecom operator is going to comply and if it is related to the recent porn ban in the country. Last year, Indian government ordained the telecom operators in India to implement a blanket ban on as many websites serving adult content.

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