Porn ban: New order vague, cannot be implemented, say ISPs

Internet service providers (ISPs) have said that that they cannot follow Centre's directive to allow adult websites that do not carry child pornography.

Last Updated: Aug 05, 2015, 22:11 PM IST

New Delhi: Internet service providers (ISPs) have said that that they cannot follow Centre's directive to allow adult websites that do not carry child pornography.

As per a report in The Times of India, the ISPs have said that the order was vague and unimplementable.

The report quoted Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) as saying that ISPs have no way or mechanism to filter out child pornography from URLs.

The report also quoted ISPAI president Rajesh Chharia telling telecom secretary Rakesh Garg in a letter to withdraw the directive which was confusing and which had put responsibility on ISPs.

Garg also reportedly said that ISPs do not have control over content on websites.

Further, the ISPs are annoyed with the government for asking them to identify websites and URLs that deal with adult material featuring children.

Meanwhile, government on Wednesday asserted that its "commitment to freedom of speech and expression is total" and underlined that it had actively promoted social media.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's assertion came after his ministry yesterday decided that the access to only child pornographic websites would be denied and not all websites having porn contents, an order it had issued earlier inviting sharp criticism on social media.

"Our government's commitment to freedom of speech and expression is total. We fully appreciate the great movement of the communication of ideas on social media," he said, underscoring how the Modi government has actively encouraged collaborating with social media users for various schemes, as per PTI.

Prasad said his government had acted on a court's direction in a matter being heard by it since 2013.

Facing flak over its order to block access to 857 pornographic and humour websites, government had yesterday lifted ban on all those websites that do not feature child pornographic content.

Days after its blanket ban order drew severe criticism on social media and other forum, the Department of Telecom in an order today said, "The intermediaries (ISPs) are hereby directed that they are free not to disable any of the 857 URLs which do not have child pornographic content.

(With PTI inputs)