Jio Bans Access to Porn Websites After DoT Issues Order; Users Cry Foul on Twitter About the Move

Although the non-Jio users have not reported any complaints about the blocked websites, the other telecom operators are highly likely to follow Jio's suit soon and lift the content off their network.

Reliance Jio Fiber

With its cheap unlimited data plans, Reliance Jio brought 4G to masses, resulting in an average user streaming 17.5 hours worth of videos per month. RIL mentioned this data in the financial results of the second quarter. While the video consumption drove most of the data usage for the telecom operator, Reliance Jio made sure those hours aren’t dedicated to erotica. The latest from Reliance Jio comes in the form of the ban on most of the pornographic sites from its network, including the popular ones like Pornhub and XXXvideos. The move follows the recent orders of DoT to ban porn websites in India.

Users Take it Out on Social Media

Users don’t seem to appreciate the decision at all and it shows on the social media platforms flooded with aggrieved posts. A Jio user on Reddit, posted, “I’ve been trying to load a few of the porn sites but none of them seem to load on the Jio network. Is it just me or are you people facing the same issues.”  In the same thread, several other users reported the same issue. While some sites are not working, a few people managed to find a workaround, as always. One user tweeted, “In reality, #pornban is not a realistically achievable thing. It’s like Hydra, you ban one site, and two more pop to take its place. Plus there’s always VPNs and TOR”. Also, it seems like the issue is with Jio users only, the other telecom operators did not register any such complaints. Jio seems to be the first telecom service provider to make sure nothing below the belt floats on the internet under its watch.

In a verdict on 28 September, the Uttarakhand High Court had ordered all the internet service providers (ISP) to abide by the Union government’s judgment to block hundreds of websites with pornographic content. Back in August 2015, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had directed ISPs to ban over 800 websites with pornographic content or have their licenses canceled. Although the non-Jio users have not reported any complaints about the blocked websites, the other telecom operators are highly likely to follow Jio’s suit soon and lift the content off their network.

The Uttarakhand High Court had stated in the order that the unlimited access to pornographic content needs to be blocked to prevent any adverse influence on the minds of children.

A Lot of Websites are Blocked in India

Besides the sites with pornographic content and the websites with disturbing content, a number of other websites are not generally accessible in India. These include file sharing and torrent sites, free movie download and even some audio and video streaming website. However, the block is not impassable, just like the case of Google ban in China, which does not seem to uplift any time soon. To recall, Google has been trying to get into the country with the highest internet using population for a long time, and so is Facebook. But, the tech giants have been biting the dust so far.

In India, a local ISP-level block, which is quite common here, can be surpassed by using VPN, a different DNS server, Tor web browser, or other such methods. However, the content with child abuse, child pornography, or extreme acts of violence are strictly illegal in India, and getting through them in any way could result in a strict legal action.

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VIABusiness Today
Gargi’s inclination towards gadgets developed over the four years that she invested on her Electronics and Communication degree. She last worked at HeyMojo Inc., where she lead the product marketing team and designed chatbots for the top QSRs around the world. Currently, she is a regular contributor at MySmartPrice and plans on enlightening readers with interesting news on smartphones and telecom industry. Oh, and did we forget to mention that she is also a growth hacker.