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The Internet Censorship Crime

India Blocks Over 800 Adult Websites 205

William Robinson writes: The government of India has blocked over 800 adult websites through a secret order. “Free and open access to porn websites has been brought under check,” N.N. Kaul, a spokesman at the department of telecommunications said. “We don’t want them to become a social nuisance.” The ban has provoked debates in the country about extreme and unwarranted moral policing by the government. The action came after the Supreme Court of India had refused to ban porn sites in India.
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India Blocks Over 800 Adult Websites

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  • Yeah, great (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:03PM (#50245585)
    Let's take away a perfectly safe outlet for sexual frustration in a country with a pervasive rape problem, fucking brilliant.
    • Re:Yeah, great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:46PM (#50245793)

      Kaul said the government was working on a long-term solution and suggested the ban would not remain indefinitely.

      I'm dying to know what sort of "long-term solution" would be acceptable to those who feel a need to ban or block others from watching pornography. Drug therapy? Morality police? Castration? Shotgun weddings?

      • I'm dying to know what sort of "long-term solution" would be acceptable to those who feel a need to ban or block others from watching pornography. Drug therapy? Morality police? Castration? Shotgun weddings?

        Well, it is not always as simple as applying a thick layer of 'Freedom Rhetoric'; and it isn't as simple as equating 'porn' with 'sexual freedom'. Especially in a place like India - check out the kinds of imagery you can see on certain Indian temples, for example; they are somewhat friskier than any pornography you are likely to encounter on the web. So, I think it is quite likely that when they, whoever they are, talk about poor, moral influences, it is not so much about the plasticky sex, as it is about s

      • by tomhath ( 637240 )

        I'm dying to know what sort of "long-term solution" would be acceptable

        This is India. Translation is he's looking for a way to turn some of the revenue into bribes that he can pocket.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, if they think that any press exposure is good press exposure, maybe they actually want more rapes. Because that is exactly what they will get.

    • Re:Yeah, great (Score:4, Informative)

      by jma05 ( 897351 ) on Tuesday August 04, 2015 @06:42AM (#50247283)

      > with a pervasive rape problem

      I know that the series of articles in media seem to make it appear so. But there really aren't any stats to support the claim that India has a "rape problem". The case being built is highly anecdotal, which is easy when you have a country of 1.2 BILLION to pick cases from. There are about 25K rapes reported in India annually. For the second most populous country that amounts to 2 per 100K. That is pretty low.

      Granted, only a minority of rapes get reported in relatively conservative societies. But under-reporting occurs everywhere at different levels. 1 in 5 or 6 women report rape in surveys in US. Only a fraction of those get reported. Even if you reasonably adjust for the fact that rape is much more under-reported than say US, it is a very difficult case to make, that India has much more per capita rape than US. For a country, one fourth the size of India, CDC counted 1.3 *million* *reported* rapes in US in 2010. With a more strict definition, FBI counted 86K.

      It is "possible" that India has a lot of rape. But the case has not yet been made in data. It also needs to be shown that rape in India is somehow specially higher than other countries in the region with similar development indices. For police recorded offenses, the stats are:

      India: 0.4
      US: 27.3
      Pakistan 28.8 (where I assume much more conservative in reporting than India)
      Nepal: 0.8 (which can be assumed to be about the same as India)
      Sri Lanka: 7.3

      I feel that the real story was how people came to the streets angry about the crime. Which other country had its capital shutdown by the public in response to a rape case? The people do care.

      The justice for harassment is sometimes weird :-).
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      I agree about the outlet argument of course. But in Inda, bans come and go. It isn't China. The state does not really control people. People don't take these seriously. *All* of Indian press condemned the bans as attempts at a nanny state. I doubt that it will last, when subjected to scrutiny. At the end of the day, India is still a noisy democracy.

      Here are Indian comedians at the previous attempt at the same ban
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • Blocked 800 huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Immostlyharmless ( 1311531 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:05PM (#50245601)
    So that only leaves what? Couple of million places left?
    • No time for a response here. Ive got 799 more web sites to check out. Gonna be busy for a few days. Pass me that box of kleenex, will ya?
    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      The issue is not porn sites, the issue is that this censorship also can hurt other sites as well. Some even claims that Collegehumor and 9gag are filtered. So where's the border between a site that's permitted and a site that's blocked?

    • It was obviously merely a symbolic gesture. They aren't going to do anything real by blocking 800 sites and they know it, but now they can declare a victory and forget the whole business.

  • Is that even a thousandth of a percent of the total porn on the web? It's like trying to use a super soaker to put out a forest fire...
  • Only 5,000,000 others...
  • A nice VPN service.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:29PM (#50245711)
    "Blocking porn websites" is usually the rationale given to justify the first step in building an infrastructure to provide wider censorship of the internet.

    Slowly the criteria used to block websites are expanded, and more websites are blocked. Then websites are blocked because they reflect political ideas not sanctioned by the government.

    It's a slippery slope.

    • by ThatAblaze ( 1723456 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:35PM (#50245725)

      "there is a slippery slope when you start blocking porn" would make a good news headline.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      here's some bullshit arguments similar to yours:

      "if we legalize marijuana, that means we have to legalize heroin and meth"

      "if we legalize gay marriage, that means we have to legalize marrying corpses or animals"

      see the problem? people actually think in your world. and they can tell the difference between different topics. we don't slide effortlessly into lack of thought on major issues of liberty and rights. no one does. your argument is illogical FUD

      simply having the tool or liberty to do one thing, does n

      • by grumpy_old_grandpa ( 2634187 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @11:55PM (#50246133)
        The slippery slope here is not that people will stop thinking, observing, or even protesting. Rather, it's that with the laws and infrastructure in place, it becomes very easy to block more pages. So rather than a uncontrolled "slippery slope", maybe it should just be called a "first step" or sure tell-tale sign.

        That idea is not based on some illogical extrapolation into the future, but on a number of examples from the past: Many European countries have already followed this pattern, some of which you'd think be among the most liberal: Holland, Denmark, France, Germany, UK. Take UK as a prime example: First they put in place the infrastructure because of child porn. Then it's used against "hate speech" or "terrorism". Next violent porn, BDSM. After that, file sharing sites, The Pirate Bay. Next, political party sites like The Pirate Party, and the Chaos Computer Club. The latter two have already been "mistakenly" blocked in multiple countries.

        Now, many people believe the state should not be in the business of policing the Internet. So in the UK, they've made the brilliant move of making it "voluntarily". All the major ISPs now have personal filters controlled by their customers. Of course, it'd be a bit naive to think that those settings could not be used against you: If you ever find yourself in a sexual abuse case, Child Protection Services case, background check / government security clearance, you'd better have those settings in the right position.
        • how hard do you think it is for someone who controls all of the circuits to block a webpage?

          additionally, we already block, with complete legal and moral legitimacy, child porn sites, phishing sites, etc.

          the "infrastructure" you refer to is not really difficult. and in fact already exists for completely valid reasons

          so this argument "if we block porn, political opinions are next" is complete slippery slope fear based bullshit

          if you want a winning argument, focus on the kind of govt that would do such a thin

          • Maybe that's where we disagree. I believe the government, ISPs should not have the ability by law nor technical means, regardless of how easy or complex it is to implement, to censor any traffic on the Internet. (Of course, some internal ISP admin will always be able to cause damage, but he will then be committing a crime, like any other cracker).

            Furthermore, I vehemently oppose any moral judgment, moral policing, and censorship. The pixels on my screen do not inconvenience anybody, so I should be free to
            • building a police department allows for martial law

              are you filled with the same irrational fear and loathing about the existence of police, a completely necessary component for society to function?

              Furthermore, I vehemently oppose any moral judgment, moral policing, and censorship.

              then you are an immature and naive person. all freedoms have limits. mainly when and where those freedoms impinge on the freedoms of others. my freedom to get a good night's sleep, your freedom to listen to loud music at 2 AM. my f

          • "how hard do you think it is for someone who controls all of the circuits to block a webpage?"

            Easy. But the block can be subverted, unless it is made in a manner so restrictive as to break most applications as well.

            • the chinese govt is doing deep packet inspection and going after VPNs now. let's see how hard the politically fearful shitbags get before they realize letting their own people talk freely about politics is a sign of political maturity and social stability, not some evil threat

      • I must correct your rubbish, because you dumped out quite a truckload..

        the very concept of the slippery slope is a logical fallacy that instantly marks the argument as invalid. it is used to make fear-based demagogue arguments

        False! A Slippery Slope is not automatically an invalid argument, it simply an argument which does not prove the conclusion. In other words, we can't prove mass censorship _will_ result from an initial block which defies law, but we can review history and say "it always happens progressively" and be accurate. You proved in a single paragraph that you are either a blatant liar or completely ignorant.

        I won't bother correcting anything e

        • the existence of a progression indicates an impulse which exists independently

          the mere creation of a police dept, for example, does not mean martial law is somehow inevitable. this is fear addled ignorance

          the slippery slope is a simple logical fallacy like all the others, asking us to trust to fear instead of reason

          anyone who depends upon the concept of a slippery slope in the construction of their argument can immediately be dismissed as invalid, unworthy of consideration, and a fearmongering fool

          • by s.petry ( 762400 )

            Not surprisingly, you are still wrong. A slippery slope can be expressed as "if A then B or C". No matter how you read that expression, "A" always exists and "B" and "C" are potential outcomes. We can measure the probability of these outcomes based on historical facts (which should not be confused with predicting an outcome).

            Your error in logic is claiming that a Slippery Slope is the same thing as a prediction ("if A then B or C" therefor "A then B").

            You further claim incorrectly that the person you re

      • Usually I'm with you. But this time you're (over)reacting to a phrase.

  • 800 down, only 3,453,721,904 left to go.....
  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @10:51PM (#50245825)

    You mean the same India that invented the freakin' Kama Sutra?!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You mean the same India that invented the freakin' Kama Sutra?!

      No, the other one. It's an obscure, indy country. You probably haven't heard of it.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Monday August 03, 2015 @11:15PM (#50245935) Journal

    This is an honest question (I'm not Indian). How does the government get to override the recently passed decision by the Indian Supreme Court NOT to ban these very same sites? Is there some sort of executive order that allows the government to do so? Or is the government doing something "illegal" (I think the decisions by the Supreme Court must be the very definition of legality right?).

    • The legislative branch of the government can by definition change laws to suit its case regardless of what the judicial branch has ruled on previously.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    First they came for the porn sites and I said nothing.......

  • tes are out there...

    Just what is on these 800 websites that they need to block?

    I am guessing that even the deepest segments of 4chan would look at those and say 'too much'.

    • No, these look to be fairly normal adult websites. I took a look at a couple of them, as someone above posted a link to a document with the full list. I couldn't download the list, but I could just barely make out a few site names.

      Among the few I perused, I found most were fairly conventional sex sites, with one site targeting gay men. From what I can see, this is simply a list of the most *popular* adult websites. For instance, I saw xxx.com is on the list, which seems to be a standard hardcore sex sit

  • Soon there will be a public interest litigation filed in the Supreme Court challenging the order and the court, probably already peeved at the government's ignorance of its refusal to block porn, would make the government overturn the order.

    Also, not a good idea where every third person is youth [1].

    [1]: http://www.thehindu.com/news/n... [thehindu.com]
  • PDF with list is in there... let's start with how-do-you-produce-more-seminal-fluid.semenaxx. org

  • What will the ministers do now?

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes... [indiatimes.com]

  • I love how strict societies in modern settings formally become more entrenched even while their younger generation is long past the drama.

    Arranged marriages that last a lifetime. No one looks at porn of course, it's evil. No one cheats of course. 7 kids in a 2 bedroom flat. All you really need is love and respecting your parents.

    When David Cameron said that we should be able to block illegal adult sites he had no idea how unrealistic he was being...let the those that have no idea how the internet works

Air is water with holes in it.