Indian government asks Internet service companies to ban porn sites

Government asks internet providers to ban porn sites and upgrade their infrastructure.

Published Date
11 - Nov - 2014
| Last Updated
11 - Nov - 2014
 
Indian government asks Internet service companies to ban porn sit...

The Indian Government has asked various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to create a blueprint, upgrade their infrastructure and implement a nation-wide ban on porn related websites.

In a meeting chaired by Telecom & IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and attended by important officials from ministry, the ‘porn problem’ was discussed in length, and the government formulated strategies to implement a nation-wide ban on pornography websites.

The government plans to create a list of pornography sites, especially those relating to child pornography and will provide the list to Internet service providers (ISPs) to block. To ensure that the blocking does not slow Internet access, Internet service providers will be asked to upgrade their infrastructure. The list will be curated by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. According to reports the government will also ask NGOs to create awareness and sensitizing the ill-effects of porn.

Minister Ravi Shankar stated that although porn is legal in some countries, this issue should be observed in the “context of Indian culture and moral obligation towards society”.

Earlier this year, Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) had informed the Supreme Court that they are not able to ban porn websites, without government support.

In their affidavit, the companies stated, “It is impossible for an ISP to block pornographic sites without orders from the court or department of telecom (DoT). While ISPs are legally bound to comply with all orders to block pornographic or other websites as suggested by DoT, the task of identifying such websites ought not to be left to ISPs who lack institutional and logistical capacity to do the identification.”

According to the law viewing pornography in private is legal in India although hosting and transmitting porn is punishable. The Information Technology Act states that browsing, creation, downloading and publication of child porn is illegal in India.

"Child pornography and pornography cannot be said in the same breath. The government has very firm legislation against it," said Vidya Reddy, director of Tulir-Centre for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse.

What do you think? Is the Indian Government right in deciding what we should or shouldn't access on the Internet? Do share your views in the comments section below.

Source: ET