There is no mechanism to filter out child pornography from URLs, ISPs respond to Modi government’s order
The news of more than eight hundred porn websites being banned by Indiaâ€™s BJP government were met with disbelief. This was not just due to the fact that the number of websites is very high, but also due to the fact that it was so sudden.
And within a few days it was found that the list not just contained porn sites, it also had many news sites that were clubbed together with porn sites, may be out of ignorance or the hurry.
It is very surprising that when a number of mainstream newspapers are giving too much space to explicit sex materials, the government has gone to the extent of banning some. A few years ago when a popular sex site Savita Bhabi was banned, the government was condemned.
Merely last month Vijay Panjwani asked Indiaâ€™s Supreme Court to block pornographic websites immediately. “Pornography is a criminal activity from A to Z. Completely!” he thundered
But he knows that the ban is easier said than done. â€œA 20-year-old has a mobile phone, a 9-year-old has a mobile. Who’s going to stop them?â€, wonders he.
But last week, the Indian government did just that. India’s Telecommunications Ministry ordered Internet providers to block more than 850 sites.
Pranesh Prakash, policy director of the Center for Internet and Society, obtained the list of sites that had been kept secret and then published the list online. â€œAnd until I did that, no one knew what all had been blockedâ€¦The government was essentially arguing until that point that it was blocking only child pornography. And we saw that that was not true.â€