India Lifts Porn Ban But ISPs Balk, DVD Sales Soar

Aug 5, 2015 6:35 AM PST

NEW DELHI — Although India’s ban on online porn made a quick about face, the country’s ISPs are still reluctant to open the floodgates.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the new order from the Department of Telecommunications said ISPs could unblock any of the 857 websites, so long as they don’t contain child porn. But the providers are reluctant to immediately comply because they can’t be sure which sites contain the questionable content.

An anonymous ISP executive said, “How can we go ahead? What if something comes up tomorrow [on one of these sites], which has child porn, or something else?” 

The announcement earlier this week created shock waves of protest from citizens along with a huge demand for hard goods porn. The knee-jerk appetite for porn spiked DVD sales and the demand for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that bypass ISPs, shortly after the government ordered the crackdown.

Prices for DVDs nearly tripled in some of the key markets in New Delhi and the upscale Park Circus areas, and adult CDs rose nearly 30 percent, according to reports.

Some of the most popular items were DVDs containing a variety of 10-12 HD clips.

High demand MMS clips also doubled in price, and English porn DVDs saw an increase of about 10 percent.

Even less quality pirated DVD and CDs saw brisk sales. In Lucknow, the content was selling at 50 percent higher than normal.

And the party may not be over. A major vendor at Avenue Market, Bengaluru's computer hardware and software hub, anticipated the lifting of the ban and told the Times of India he was stocking up.

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