India Rescinds Ban on Porn Sites

Aug 4, 2015 12:50 PM PST

MUMBAI — The Indian government tonight rescinded its ban on hundreds of porn sites after critics accused the government of trampling on personal freedoms.

Indian officials over the weekend ordered ISPs to block 857 websites deemed to carry pornographic material. Some of the sites blocked comprised adult dating, live cams, tube sites and paysites, while others were mainstream and softcore.

But those officials, who earlier said the ban was needed to protect public morality, were ridiculed, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times today, because many of the sites subject to a block were found not to feature any pornography.

The government also later acknowledged that the ban could be subverted by readily available Internet tools and private networks.

Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Times tonight that “the ban will be partially withdrawn” and that only sites that carry child pornography would remain blocked.

Previous to the new directive, child porn already was illegal under Indian law.

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