Websites blocked in India
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India censors and blocks websites through Court orders as per IT Act 2000. Mostly these bans are instigated under copyright and trademark infringement through film studio scare without proper security measures and lists that they provide without proper research or professional technical services. The current blocks are initiated by ISPs under court order for blocking the illegal sites themselves with warning the site accessed as currently deemed to be illegal. Many of the sites listed may be occasionally or even regularly available, depending on the access or change of current events.
Bans and blocks
Over the years, the government has banned thousands of websites and URLs in the country with the help of internet service providers or under the directive of the courts. For example, in August 2015, the government banned at least 857 sites for their pornographic contents and in June 2016, the government further banned over 200 URLs for providing 'Escort Services'.
In August 2015, the Central government of India ordered TRAI and Internet Service Providers based in India to ban domestic and international porn websites. In response, nearly 857 websites were blocked. Star India Pvt Ltd, an entertainment company owned by 21st Century Fox have successfully gained authorization through hoodwinking the court. They can now force ISPs to block entire websites to tackle Internet piracy and sharing for their copyrighted content. This was gained through falsifying data that these sites are uploading videos when it is a user centered activity and covering up the fact each of these websites have active departments to regulate any sorts of infringement and misuse of their services. Prathiba M Singh, who had represented Star India, cited poor resources of media giants like Star India, for targeting these domains without block expiry period and their legal team termed these sites as "rogue sites" and expressed delight in their successive filing from 2014 and incognito win to violate freedom of trade on the Internet at least in India. Though some critics say this would be lifted eventually by seeing the fallacy as in similar previous cases. Many people have raised their voice through social media that the proceedings being overly suspicious and was gained for a alternate means, which is aimed for profiting rather than the initial spike of alleged piracy of these copyrighted contents and strengthening an ongoing practice of bottle-necking the internet users to forced payment and culture of on-demand online access to content. This has happened in the same week were media personnel's filter-free over indulgences to manipulate ongoing cases and political statements without any guidelines were appalled by Lawyers in the country.
In 2016, India also put forwarded a new plan to control internet usage of its netizen's. Accessing or pop-ups from ad services or malware infection of websites banned in India might invite 3 years of jail sentence and a fine of Rs 3 lakh. As of now URLs and websites were blocked using DNS-filtering. This means the DNS of the blocked site was added to a list maintained by the internet service provider and whenever a user tried connecting to that site, the DNS server of the internet service provider would block that request. The respected officials suspect netizens are circumventing these measures knowingly or unknowingly. Government also intends to provide wide educative information classes, provision of free operating system with utilities for malware free access to internet and for computerized activities of daily life as a primary method. Currently the government are joining hands with media content providers and internet service providers like big companies Tata Communications and Airtel to manage a number of internet gateways in India. Though many legal, technical and social action groups consider this as a threatening approach. Many social action groups say that these as inappropriate time and money spend while real issues like unemployment, access to education, freedom of practicing religion, women and children safety, drug use are ever rising. Lawyers with technical background say this might be warning message and DNS filtering is a better practice for enforcing Anti-piracy laws in current India. Some of them are also wary about how will these actions get reflected in terms hostility towards human rights, implications of these fines, profiteering stakeholders agendas, is it the government's first step to a long term plan "monitoring the whole world wide web" as China does. Many of these services are malvertising, click away access and pops ups, how does the government intend to tackle these issues and problems with the current plan that is heavily in favor of corporation's margin and doesn't cater to its users needs. Other groups express their fear and uneasiness whether these will lead to emergency era like arrests where anything that government bodies believe is an "offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957".
This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at urlblock [at] tatacommunications [dot] com who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance
Current situation that have led to this sudden moves is reported to be by influence of film studios in India and courts who have regularly issued orders in the favor for them. Often these are done with the contracted lawyers of film studios approach courts in regular intervals ahead and after a movie's release seeking preventive blocks on the URLs they compile and list. This lists in reality are unprofessionally and "poorly compiled and often block is sought on full websites just on the basis of whims and fancies". "Once this order are issued, the copies of the order along with the list of URLs to be blocked go to DoT, which then they pass an order to internet service providers to block these sites". The interesting part here is that once a URL is blocked it remains blocked, even years after the release of the film without an expiry. Patent lawyers also suggest to make practical changes in its laws according to the current e-environment like making materials accessible within six months to one year and protecting the content from manipulation and creative infringement of the same under copyright laws to lessen the current piracy problems.
List of blocked websites
List of websites monitored by Markscan on behalf of MSM are
|Alexa Rank||Website||Domain||URL||Category||Primary language|
|823||yourvideohost.com||yourvideohost.com||yourvideohost.com||media and video streaming||English|
|---||behance.com||behance.com||behance.com||online portfolio site||English|
|---||xpau.se||xpau.se||xpau.se||latest movie and tv series in hd||English|
|moviescounter.com||moviescounter.com||moviescounter.com||Free Movie Download website||English|
- "Banned URLs: Here is the full list of the blocked websites". Zee News. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Why India's order to block 857 websites might not work". Indian Express. PTI. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
- M.N, Parth; Bengali, Shashank (5 August 2015). "India reverses ban on Internet porn after public outrage, ridicule". Retrieved 26 May 2017 – via The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Delhi High Ccourt wants 73 websites banned for streaming pirated videos". 1 August 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Delhi HC upholds blocking for pirate websites - Times of India". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Lawyers beat up media reporters at Kerala High Court - Times of India". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- India, Press Trust of (30 July 2016). "'No ban imposed on journalists in reporting court proceedings'". Retrieved 26 May 2017 – via Business Standard.
- "You may get 3 years in jail, fine of 3 lakhs for viewing a torrent site in India - Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". 21 August 2016. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "You may face 3 years jail term for viewing Torrent websites in India - Gadgets Now". Gadget Now. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Are you a criminal now? Users may get 3 years in jail for viewing torrent site, blocked URL in India". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Delhi High Court- blocked websites". Delhi High Court. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- Public grievance website