Internet Censorship in India


Despite being the second most populous country in the world next to China, Internet censorship in India is considered as “selective” type. It means that the country has no sustained government laws in blocking sites. And only recently they started to impose strict Internet policies. Currently, India has a population of 1.252 billion, and has been into controversy related to female abuse cases. This is why it is not surprising that the government banned all porn sites in November 2014.

The banning of websites by the Indian government is not really new. In July 2006, India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) banned 17 sites including those hosted by Blogspot and Typepad. However, some of them were restored after about a week, and the reason for banning is not clear. In 2011, a series of reports surfaced online about India blocking more websites without warning. Although most of the concerns are about piracy, the blocked sites were eventually back online after some time.

Come January 2012, Google and Facebook received summon from the Delhi High Court saying that they are benefiting from objectionable and illegal content. However, both sites claim that they have no control over the platforms and therefore should be treated as a separate legal entity. That same year, more than 300 specific URLs from Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress, and others have been blocked. Allegedly, most of these links contain inflammatory content and were created by local activists on their fight against corruption.

In June 2013, 39 websites were blocked upon the order of the DoT. However, no specific reasons were announced. That time, watching adult pornography is not considered illegal. A year later, Sony Entertainment requested India to block some file sharing and file hosting websites due to alleged piracy. The Delhi High Court responded by blocking 48 of them, including The Pirate Bay (TPB) and some Google websites. But in July 2014, only 219 websites were blocked and all the Google sites were restored.

With all of these instances of blocking of sites by India, it can be concluded that their policies are subjective and that you don’t when a website will be blocked. This is why it is recommended to use either proxy servers or a VPN (Virtual Private Network). For the record, there is no Indian law that prohibits the use of both services. However, there are certain DoT regulations that providers should follow. But here’s the million dollar question – Which of the two is better and more reliable to use? Are they both safe from hackers?

Generally speaking, proxy servers and VPNS offer the same service. Both of them allow users to browse the Internet anonymously, thus hiding your real IP address and geo-location. However, VPN traffic is more secured because the information is encrypted. VPNs use 128-bit to 2048-bit level of encryption, while proxy servers offer nothing except that your traffic is routed through a proxy server. For this reason, proxy server fees are lower than that of a VPN. You can also use a free VPN, but the paid ones are much better.