India blocks over 870 adult websites in Internet porn crackdown | News | DW | 03.08.2015
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India blocks over 870 adult websites in Internet porn crackdown

The Indian government has blocked nearly a thousand porn websites in an attempt to restrict adult content. The ban has initiated a debate on Internet freedom, censorship and personal rights.

The Indian department of telecommunications has announced it is blocking 875 websites publishing adult content.

"Free and open access to porn websites has been brought under check," department spokesman N.N. Kaul told reporters, adding that officials didn't want such sites to become "a social nuisance."

Discussions on the ban heated up after a 17-page order by the government found its way to freedom of speech activists on Monday. The document listed the names of the websites displaying pornographic material and directed service providers to block access on the grounds of morality and decency. As a result, several websites became inactive over the weekend.

The Indian government has been trying to prohibit access to porn sites for several weeks now. In July, the Supreme Court refused to enact a blanket ban on porn sites after a petitioner argued that they spawn an increase in sexual crimes, especially against women.

The court said users should be able to access such portals in private.

#Pornban trends on Twitter

The ban spawned a discussion on social media, with the hashtag #pornban trending on Twitter's India domain.

Bollywood actor Uday Chopra questioned whether the ban would actually help foster women's rights, considering the increasing rate of crime against women in the country.

Bestselling author Chetan Bhagat had a new pro-women ban suggestion for Indian leaders:

Some users took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" campaign, which he spoke of often during his recent overseas trips to attract foreign investors.

The Twitterati in India was also busy thinking about what the government's next ban would be. As a result, the hashtag #NextbanIdea became a trend for online users wanting to vent their frustration.

mg/cmk (AP, Reuters)

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