Indian Government banned 67 porn websites; Check reason and details

Government banned 67 porn websites: The Central Government has ordered internet companies to block 67 pornographic websites for violating the new IT rules that were issued in 2021 following court orders. Click here to Join Telegram study group 

Important PDFs

Current affairs PDFGovernment Schemes PDFBanking GA PDF
Indian Polity PDFIndian History PDFStatic GK
Subscribe YouTubeFollow on FacebookTelegram Group

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).

IT Rules 2021

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

Government banned 67 porn websites: Background

In 2015, the government had temporarily banned more than 800 pornographic websites which created a public outcry. The internet service providers took down several websites after the government order.

Pornhub & Instagram

Earlier on Thursday, Meta-owned Instagram has permanently disabled the account of adult website Pornhub for repeatedly violating its policies.

Porn Usage Data

According to Semrush, Indians accounted for more than 3 Bn views on porn sites in August 2022. This number declined by over 73% compared to the same period last year. Of these, the top three websites namely xvideos, Pornhub and LuxureTV, accounted for more than 540 Mn views. Most of these views were from smartphones.

While many users had turned to virtual private networks (VPNs) to access pornographic content, the recent directives from CERT-In has also played spoilsport for many users looking to access the content.

IT Rules 2021

The Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021 were released by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in February.

The IT Rules 2021 aim to empower ordinary users of social media platforms and OTT platforms with a mechanism for redressal and timely resolution of their grievance with the help of a Grievance Redressal Officer (GRO) who should be a resident in India. Special emphasis has been given on the protection of women and children from sexual offences, fake news and other misuse of the social media.

The OTT platforms, online news and digital media entities, on the other hand, would need to follow a Code of Ethics. OTT platforms would be called as ‘publishers of online curated content’ under the new rules. They would have to self-classify the content into five categories based on age and use parental locks for age above 13 or higher. They also need to include age verification mechanisms for content classified as ‘Adult’.

As per the rules, intermediaries are mandated to remove or disable contents that are against the safety and dignity of individuals within 24 hours of receiving of complaints. Such complaints can be filed either by the individual or a person on his/her behalf. According to the government, knowing the “first originator of information” (also known as “traceability”) of messages that cause violence, riots, terrorism, rape or threat to national security fall under reasonable exceptions to Right to Privacy – which again is not absolute as per the Constitution.

More News For You