Indian government orders ISPs to block access to porn sites

Porn is big business online, but it's also at the center of many a debate surrounding decency, child protection, and censorship

The Indian government has ordered that ISPs in the country block access to more than 800 porn sites in a bid to stop children viewing unsuitable material.

Interestingly, while access to porn is being restricted, it is not being blocked outright. The aim is not to stop adults from viewing pornography but to "protect India's cultural fabric" in addition to protecting children.

Adults with a penchant for porn will still be able to get their fix by turning to VPN tools and services. The government is looking for alternative ways to prevent children from accessing online pornography, and it is believed that the current measures are just a stop-gap until a long term policy is written up.

The Hindustan Times quotes a source at the Indian communications ministry who said:

Certain websites have been reviewed and found to be spreading anti-social activities as hyperlinks from these websites, some of them were pornographic, so we have sent letters to internet service providers to block them. The action has been taken in reference to section 79 of IT Act.

Unsurprisingly, the ban has led to a huge number of complaints. ISPs around the country took action to respond to letters from Department of Telecommunications about implementing blocks, and pornophiles took to Twitter using the #PornBan hashtag to express disappointment at what many regard as censorship and an infringement on rights.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Brian A Jackson