According to the orders by Department of Telecommunications, Internet service providers have been asked to block 39 websites immediately that host and allow users to share obscene content.
In April 2013, court issued notices to ministries of Information and Technology, Information and Broadcasting and Home Affairs, and Internet Service Providers seeking to bring an anti-pornography law in the wake of a petition filed by Indore-based Advocate. The petition said that that absence of Internet laws in India encourage people to watch obscene videos. Watching obscene videos is not an offence but it is one of the major causes for crime against women, highlights the filed petition. It further added that over 20 crore such videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which are being directly downloaded through the Internet or accessed via video CDs.
Reacting to the development, an official of Ministry of Communications and IT said: “We have just followed a court order and asked internet service providers to comply with it.” According to the president of Internet Service Providers Association of India, “Effective way of blocking as per DoT’s directive is to block the content at origin by respective data centre or content owner if content is hosted in country… if content is hosted outside India, then it should be blocked at international gateway of cable landing stations.”
An Internet service provider (ISP) is an entity that offers users’ access to the Internet and related services. Recently, ISPs were accused for allegedly breaching the privacy of internet users through unauthorized sharing of their personal data with US intelligence agencies. As per reports, US-based nine internet companies, operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with National Security Agency of USA without express consent of the Indian users.