- India revisited its efforts against pornography and has directed ISPs in the country to ban 827 pornography websites.
- The order was passed by the Uttarakhand High Court which initially identified 857 websites that offer adult content.
- The country has made a similar move in 2015 as well with little to no effect.
The Indian Government had banned pornography websites in the country back in 2015, but the action barely had any effect as most users simply chose to adopt VPNs, while others continued getting access to the content via smaller ISPs. The Uttarakhand High Court initially listed 857 websites eligible for bans but 30 of them were found to contain no pornography content, which brought the number down to 827.
The Department of Telecom in the country revealed: “all the internet service licensees are instructed to take immediate necessary action for blocking of 827 websites as per the direction from Meity and for the compliance of the Hon’ble High Court order.”
There are no laws against pornography in India and watching adult content privately does not count as a criminal offense. However, there are laws against child abuse in place. Jio, which is one of the biggest network carriers has banned the listed websites already making them inaccessible for a large number of internet users in the country.
Shortly after the initial ban in 2015, the Indian government stated that the ISPs could continue allowing access to pornography websites as long as they did not contain child abuse content. Despite the government banning the websites for the second time, users who want to access the content can simply use workarounds and use VPNs to access the banned sites.
Nepal and Uganda have imposed similar bans as well in a bid to curb pornographic content. The motive behind the ban is unknown and such practices do not usually achieve anything and make access to adult content only difficult, not impossible for most internet users who know how to operate VPNs.