Bangalore, August 2 2015: Twitter and Reddit in India were ablaze this Sunday morning with reports that almost of the world's top dozen pornography sites were inaccessible in the country.
Customers cited state-owned Internet providers MTNL and BSNL as well as private operators like Spectranet, Tikona, Asianet, Hathway and mobile provider Vodafone as those who seemed to have blocked the sites. Porn pursuers mostly faced blank pages -- but some reported receiving messages like :"This site has been blocked as per the instructions of Competent Authority."
The hashtag #PornBan became a top Twitter trend by noon.
There has been no announcement from government or indication that they are coming down on porn sites. But Deccan Chronicle quotes BJ Srinath, head of Cyber Law at the Department of Infomation Technology saying the clampdown was due to an official order and grew from concern on the impact of that such openly available material on children, women etc. Last month the Supreme Court took up a public interest litigation by an Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani which sought the blocking of all porn sites and prayed for an interim order till the government came up with a policy.
The Court declined to pronounce any such order and the remarks of Chief Justice HL Dattu, gave an inkling of thinking on the Bench: "Such interim orders cannot be passed by this court. Somebody can come to the court and say ‘Look, I am an adult and how can you stop me from watching it within the four walls of my room? It is a violation of Article 21 (right to personal liberty) of the Constitution.’ Yes the issue is serious and some steps need to be taken... let us see what stand the Centre will take."
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, stated on behalf of Government: "The ministry will soon file a response to the petition and detail the action taken. All necessary steps under the Information and Technology Act will be taken."
Maybe Sunday's clamp down is part of Government's response.(updated 6 am, Aug 3 2015)