Reliance-Jio Users Complain Of Porn Websites Being Blocked; Company Yet To Issue Official Statement

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Going by a lot of Jio network users, it seems that Mukesh Ambani’s Jio has banned hundreds of porn sites, in compliance with the order of the Department of Telecommunications. The order came after the Uttarakhand High Court on September 28, 2018, had directed the Centre to block over 850 pornographic websites. Many Jio users have taken to social media to show their protests. On Twitter, several users have threatened even to change their network if Jio doesn’t lift the ban.

However, the telecom operator has not issued an official statement confirming the ban or on the development so far. The complaints have come to notice after many users pointed out on social media platforms like Reddit and Twitter that several porn websites are no longer available on Jio network, as reported by the Financial Times.

The High Court’s Order

According to The Indian Express, the Uttarakhand High court’s order came after the alleged gang rape of a 16-year old girl by four students at her boarding school in Dehradun. It is alleged that the accused were “instigated by watching pornography” on their mobile phones before committing the crime.

In the order, the division bench of acting chief, justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari said, “There shall be a direction to all the Internet Service License Holders to punctually obey the notification dated 31st July 2015 and to block the publication or transmission of obscene material in any electronic form.” It further added that material containing sexually explicit act or conduct and also publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit acts should also be blocked.

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Same crackdown in 2015

In 2015, the Department of Telecommunications had issued an order to block 857 porn websites. They had asked all the internet service providers to take compliance with the order and block the websites. A lot of people protested against this crackdown by the government. However, after receiving a huge criticism from the people, the government partially lifted the ban. But, following the rule, nothing had happened, and the porn sites were functioning as before, reported The Guardian.

An Indian think tank, Centre for Internet and Society member Pranesh Prakash said “It is illegitimate because it is not as though the government has found these websites unlawful … This is a blanket ban, and the government has not thought through the consequences,” reported by The Guardian.

The Logical Indian Take

Watching or not watching porn is a person’s liberty. India is a democratic nation, and according to our constitution, we are conferred with the freedom of expression and the right to personal liberty. So, this non-confirmed porn ban by Reliance Jio would be getting into the freedom of an individual.

After China, India has the second-largest number of internet users in the world. And, Reliance-Jio is just the third user base in India. The ban would not affect the population much but is definitely a threat to the user rights.

Source: The Logical Indian

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