Government of India orders ISPs to block 39 porn sites

Out of the 39 sites, most are web forums used for sharing of explicit images as well as URLs that contain such material. Some of these sites are image and file hosting sites that actually don’t fall under the umbrella of a porn site.

There is no explicit rule in the IT Act bans users from viewing adult pornography. All 39 sites are currently hosted outside India and are known to operate under the 18 USC 2257 rule enforced by the US. Under this particular rule, it is required by the producers of pornographic material to retain records that would prove that the performers were over 18 years of age at the time of the shoot. Critics are claiming that such a ban is just an overreach and may not last long enough.

The order released by the DoT neither states any specific reason behind the block nor specifies the law under which such a ban is enforced. The order reads, “It has been decided to immediately block the access to the following URLs… you are accordingly directed to immediately block the access to above URLs.”

Users visiting one of the blocked sites will receive the following message “this website has been blocked until further notice either pursuant to court orders or on the directions issued by the Department of Telecommunications”.