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India’s porn ban conditional & up to ISPs

Posted in S. Asia

Published on August 07, 2015 with No Comments

 If child porn is found on any of the unblocked sites in the list, the ISPs will be held liable for the content under Section 79(3)(b). Now, how exactly are the ISPs expected to determine whether any of the 857 sites have child pornography or not? Can they be expected to watch each and every video, and determine whether someone in the porn video is above or below the age of 18? This is exactly the problem with the way Section 79 (3)(b) of the IT Act was drafted: it delegates the decision making from the judiciary to the ISP, when the ISP has no incentive to allow something to remain unblocked, and in fact, runs the risk of litigation if things remain unblocked.

After blocking more than 800 pornographic websites this past week, the Indian government has decided to knock its overly restrictive ban down from a borderline human rights violation to a much more conservative measure. Now, only child pornography sites will be banned, and local ISP’s will be held accountable for their content.

Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has been quoted as saying “Sites that do not promote child porn will be unbanned.”

 

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