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Blocking of websites may affect internet speed: ISP industry body

Department of Telecommunications had advised internet service providers to block 857 websites that host pornographic matter

BS Reporter  |  Bengaluru 

Internet censorship
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The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who have been asked by the government to block pornographic websites say that while they are in the process of blocking those, this would also affect the internet speed. This is primarily because the requests by the users will have to go through several patches of verifications thus impacting the overall browsing experience.

“Because what happens is that, when we are putting lots of restriction on our routers to block certain sites, then it becomes a policy in existence. That means the request sent by the user will have to get through all the layers to verify the domain names; so for the request to be processed will take time and impact the overall experience,” said Rajesh Chharia, the president of industry body, Internet Services Providers Association of India (ISPAI).

In a notification issued late last month, the Department of Telecommunications had advised internet service providers (ISPs) to block 857 websites that host pornographic matter. Chharia said while many of the ISPs have already blocked those websites, others are in the process of doing so.

“We are the licensees whereas the DoT is the licensor. As per the licensing agreement, the service providers will have to act according to the laws and the rules.”

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However, the industry body said that blocking few websites may not fulfill the purpose for which the government is taking such measures as these websites can just change their URLs and operate in some other name.

“Child pornography is certainly illegal and we are against it. But we can’t control the content; we can only control the websites. We must understand that now-a-days the technology is so advanced that if you block these websites, they will operate in some other names. Because, few of the developed countries are saying this is a $20 billion business,” Chharia added.

The association is now planning to propose the government to block all foreign websites sending pornographic and child pornographic matters at the cable ending stations or the international gateways. Any such websites operating out of India can be blocked with the help of the data centres where they are hosted.

First Published: Mon, August 03 2015. 21:10 IST