Block taxi hailing services websites in Delhi, orders DoT
New Delhi: Indiaâ€™s Department of Telecom (DoT) has ordered the government agencies to block websites of several taxi hailing services including Uber, TaxiForSure besides Ola Cabs. The DoT has issued the order as it had received a request in this regard from the Delhi government.
Taking a very prompt action, the Department of Telecom issued a letter to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) ordering them to immediately block these taxi hailing services.
But there may not be much of an impact on these companies as they donâ€™t run from their websites. Instead these taxi hailing services run via app that are already downloaded by consumers. The use of these apps gets the users of companies like Uber much needed discounts and even free rides.
In the meantime officials have confirmed the dispatching of such a letter. A DoT official has confirmed sending the notice to ISPs to block the websites of these firms in Delhi and send a compliance report on the same. “There was a request from the Delhi government to block these websites… an order regarding the ban was issued two three days back,” the official was quoted by news agency PTI.
According to sources, DoT ordered blocking the websites under the powers conferred to it by Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000. “All the Internet service licences are accordingly directed to immediately block the access to the URLs,” the DoT order said.
There are credible reports that DoT ordered blocking the websites under the powers conferred to it by Section 69A of Information Technology Act, 2000 and Information Technology (Procedures and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009. The official said that following a request from the Delhi government, a committee was formed in DeitY to look into the matter. The committee recommended blocking the apps and Deity asked DoT to issue the order regarding the same.
In the meantime there is a common perception that despite the ban, people are still able to access the services of these operators. “These sites can not be blocked because of technical issues. We have already given representation to government earlier. This was a general representation. We are giving compliance except in https sites,” Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) President Rajesh Chharia said. He added that DoT had itself accepted that there was a need to set up a committee to discuss modalities around blocking of https sites around 3-4 months back.
The Delhi government had written to the Department of Electronic & Information Technology (Deity) in March that despite the ban, Uber, Ola Cabs and TaxiForSure continue to book passengers through their apps. All app-based cab services were banned in the national capital last year after a driver of Uber, the US-based online taxi-hailing company, was allegedly accused of raping a female passenger. In January, the company applied for a radio taxi licence to operate through its subsidiary Resource Expert India Pvt Ltd.