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ISPs seek clarity from govt on porn ban

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

(ISPs) told the Supreme Court on Monday that the "conflicting directions" from the government on banning pornographic sites have put them at the risk of being accused of violating the licence conditions and laws.

The issue came up during a hearing of a (PIL) seeking ban on porn sites before a Bench headed by Chief The PIL alleges porn sites violate laws and promote crime, especially

The submitted they were asked to block 587 sites on July 31 but on August 4 were directed to bar only those involving It is difficult to determine which sites to block this way, hence the government should provide the list of links to be blocked, said ISPs' counsel

Although have written to the Department of Telecommunications, there has been no response so far; therefore the court should intervene to clarify ISPs' role, she pleaded.

Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi, who asserted that the government did not want to act as "moral police" or bring in a "totalitarian state", told the that their complaint would be looked into and the issues need not be presented in the court. He invited them to discuss their problem with the and not in the court.

Rohtagi submitted that if an adult wants to watch porn in the privacy of his bedroom, there is no issue. It is almost impossible to ban websites because of the technology. Geographical boundaries have vanished with the arrival of the digital era and even the government has promoted the 'Digital India' project.

However, there is a grey area when it comes to children's access to websites. Even this can be overcome by installing child locks or filters. This is a global problem and it needs a larger debate in the courts or in Parliament. The court did not see any urgency in dealing with the issues and stated that the petition would be listed for hearing "in the usual course".

First Published: Tue, August 11 2015. 00:11 IST
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