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Ban on 857 porn sites temporary, says government

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Late last week, the Indian government’s move to block over 800 porn sites, precisely 857, didn’t go down well with netizens. The government has now clarified that the ban is temporary until the final court order is announced on August 10, according to TheHindu.

A source related to the matter told TheHindu, “What we have done is temporary…. The government is acting purely on the Supreme Court observation that government needs to take stand on the issue of blocking of pornography websites in the country, especially child pornography… Free and open access to such content is an issue.”

The government is also looking at setting up an ombudsman to oversee the cyber content with representatives from NGOs, child activists and the government, the report further adds. According to Business Standard, a DoT official reportedly said, “There has to be some kind of regulatory oversight away from the government intervention.”

During the PIL petition hearing by advocate Kamlesh Vashwani to block porn sites, Justice H.L. Dattu had said, “The issue is definitely serious and some steps need to be taken. The Centre is expected to take a stand…let us see what stand the Centre will take.” The PIL aims to curb porn sites, especially those showing child pornography.

While many agree it is right to treat the issue of child pornography and revenge porn seriously, the idea of a web filter that is being proposed increases fear that it may not bee restricted just to pornography.

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