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India Government orders internet companies to block 67 adult websites

by Dikhyaa Mohanty
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The Centre has ordered internet companies to block 67 pornographic websites for violating the new IT rules that were issued in 2021 following court orders. In four letters issued to Internet service providers, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has ordered Internet service providers to block 63 websites based on the order of a Pune court, and block 4 websites based on the order of the Uttarakhand High Court and directions issued by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).

According to the official reports, the DoT order dated September 24 said “MeitY in compliance of the said (Uttarakhand High court) order read along with rule 3(2)(b) of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, and in view of certain obscene material available in the below-mentioned website that tarnish the image of modesty of women, has directed to immediately take down (block) the … websites/URLs.”

The IT Rules 2021 invoked by MeitY mandates IT companies to remove or disable access to content hosted, stored or published by them that “shows such individual in full or partial nudity or shows or depicts a such individual in any sexual act or conduct” and also content which is allegedly impersonated or artificially morphed.

In 2015, the government temporarily banned more than 800 pornographic websites which created a public outcry. The internet service providers took down several websites after the government order. Earlier on Thursday, Meta-owned Instagram permanently disabled the account of adult website Pornhub for repeatedly violating its policies.

 

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