Over 800 Adult websites just got blocked in India

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New Delhi : Internet service providers (ISP) in India have blocked hundreds of pornographic websites at the behest of the Indian government, according to sources in the country’s communications ministry.

According the source, on Sunday that several websites were found to be spreading anti-social activities. Some of them were pornographic, so we have sent letters to internet service providers to block them.

According to the source, many internet companies confirmed receiving the letters, and several other websites are reportedly “under review” by the government as per a court order.

Rumors of the website blockage began doing the rounds on Friday night, when Indian netizens reported that many popular pornography sites like YouPorn and Pornhub were inaccessible through multiple service providers.

But some providers have refused to enforce the government’s request until they receive an unambiguous definition of what constitutes pornography.

“What’s nudity to one person might be art to someone else. The scope of what can be blocked has to be really narrow,” the executive of a major internet company, requesting anonymity, told the ET.

Twitter users reacted with a mix of exasperation, outrage and resigned satire at the news, with many implying that the conservative government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is to blame.

Proponents of a porn ban like advocate Kamlesh Vaswani, who filed a public interest litigation with the Supreme Court, argue that access to adult content leads to rape and other violent crimes against women, while opponents argue the reverse. 

The court agreed with Vaswani’s petition in principle but said earlier this month that it had no power to enforce a ban unless the government directed it to do so. A further hearing on the case is yet to take place.

India is home to some of the most avid consumers of pornography, with data gathered by Pornhub showing that the South Asian nation ranks fifth in terms of daily visitors to the site and fourth in terms of mobile visitors.

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