Should we protest if the Indian government bans a porn website?

There is lots of talk going on these days about the Indian government coming down heavily on offensive and potentially “dangerous” websites. Up till now we have been reading about Internet censorship in countries like China, Pakistan and Iran, but such draconian measures are soon going to knock at our doors and we’ll be clueless if timely, counter measures are not taken.

Anyway, I was reading this blog on the banning of SavitaBhabhi.com, an Indian porn website, by the Indian government, under the IT act. According to an excerpt published in this ContentSutra update, N. Vijayaditya of the Controller of Certifying Authorities (a government agency under the Department of Information Technology)

There were several complaints against the site. We have taken action under the relevant sections of the IT Act and blocked the site.

The key here is “several complaints”. There might be 100s of, far worse porn websites in India, and they are operating openly, and the only difference is that people haven’t yet complained against them.

Does banning a porn website offend your freedom of expression?

I’m neither in favor of promoting porn nor against it. I’m not even neutral, in the sense that if you ask me right now to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the porn Industry, it’ll be a thumbs down (and my opinion may change in the next 30 minutes) because after having visited every possible porn website in the world, it all seems quite boring (and most Indian “bhabhies” that are featured on these websites look like water buffaloes when they appear naked, and in fact some of them make you puke!).

Without going into the moral aspect, if porn is illegal then running a porn website is illegal too. I didn’t have much time to prob around; producing and distributing porn is illegal in India but accessing it is not. This is stupid because whenever there is demand, legal or illegal, supply is there. Although I’m 100% in favor of freedom of expression, if something is illegal, promoting it should also be. It’s like, rioting is illegal, and a website promoting people to indulge in rioting must be illegal too. The same goes for every illegal activity and its associated website.

When it comes to the Internet I think we’re overly emotional about “freedom of expression” and this in some way dents the credibility of the virtual world. Want to defend the right of porn website to operate? Fight to make porn legal in the country first. What do you think?

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