[JURIST] The Indian government ordered internet service providers (ISPs) on Tuesday to allow access to the 857 previously banned pornography and humor websites, provided they did not include child pornography. The news comes in response to international criticism that came as a result of the bans issued [JURIST report] a few days earlier by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) [official website]. Sites tracked by India’s cybersecurity agency Cert-in [official website] for security reasons and those found showing child pornography remain blocked. The decision [Hindustan Times report] came as a result of a meeting on Tuesday between telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad [official website], IT secretary RS Sharma, and solicitor general Pinky Anand [backgrounder], among others. Prasad said the lifting of the ban demonstrates that “the government compliments the dissemination of ideas on the social media.”
Pornography has been an intensely debated topic for many years now. In recent years revenge porn has raised free speech issues [JURIST op-ed], particularly among the celebrity world, in terms of classifying pornography. In early July the Indian Supreme Court decided that pornography was constitutionally protected as a personal liberty when it denied [Daily Mail report] a request to block pornographic websites in early July.