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ISPs tell SC they can’t block child pornography sites, say they don’t have logistical capacity
TT Correspondent |  |  28 Jan 2014

The Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) has explained to the Supreme Court that they can’t block child pornography websites without permission from the court or the government.  They expressed their inability to identify such websites as ISPs don’t have logistical capacity to do that.

This was in response to the, a PIL filed by Indore-based advocate Kamlesh Vaswani. "ISPs neither create content of any sort, nor do they own, promote, modify or edit it. They are mere authorized service providers who provide customers access to internet. ISPs are mere conduits and they cannot be made liable for the contents they do not own. It would be akin to making liable telecom companies for conversations people have on their network," they said.

ISPAI also questioned the notions associated with the pornography. It said that there is no unanimously accepted definition of pornography and the boundaries of the same are amorphous. It asked whether medical or AIDS awareness websites be pornography or would for that matter photographs of Khajuraho be so termed?

It said that one man's pornography is another man's high art. ISPAI however said that said that ISPs are legally bound to comply with all orders to block pornographic or other websites as suggested by DoT, but it is impossible for them to block such sites.

Last year, Vaswani had filed the petition which said that the porn material freely available on these sites is responsible for crimes against women.

In April 2013 Supreme Court had sent a notice to Information and Technology, Information ministry along with the Broadcasting and Home Affairs ministries seeking their views on the ban on porn sites.

The petition said that over 20 crore porn videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which are directly been downloaded through internet or other video CDs.

The petition said that the sexual content that kids are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive and has put entire society in danger so also safety threats to public order in India.

Though pornography in India is illegal, due to ineffective law pornographic materials are easily available in public places. Softcore and hardcore pornography movies/photos are easily accessible through magazines, films, or Internet. The law states that possessing and watching pornographic materials is legal, but production and distribution are prohibited.

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28 Jan 2014(IST)  
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