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Copy-paste Snafu, not Taliban: ISPs now ordered to unblock non-porn sites caught in list of 857 that ASG Pinky Anand, DOT fwd directly from anti-porn lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani

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Oops, we copy-pasted it wrong
“I reject with contempt the charge that it is a Talibani government, as being said by some of the critics. Our government supports free media,” said telecoms minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, saying that ISPs were ordered today to unblock websites that did not contain pornography that were accidentally included in the secret list of 857 pornographic sites to be blocked in India online, reported NDTV and others.

As first reported by Legally India yesterday after the list of blocked sites was obtained by the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) India, sites such as collegehumor.com and 9gag.tv – hosting comedy and viral video content – as well as torrent sites, were also caught in the block.

The Times of India, Mint and others reported today the list of 857 websites was copied verbatim from the list provided by lawyer Kamlesh Vaswani, who petitioned the Supreme Court to order the blocking of all pornographic websites. The case is still being heard, with the government to respond by 8 August.

Some of the more colourful arguments in Vaswani’s petition, including that pornography was “worse than AIDS”, “Hitler” or “cancer”, were summarised by the Huffington Post. OneLawStreet has the full petition.

The Times reported that additional solicitor general Pinky Anand had given the list to the Department of Telecommunications, which had apparently sent it directly to the ISPs:

After the Supreme Court rejected his petition, Mr. Vaswani gave his list of 857 websites to Pinky Anand, once a top lawyer for Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and now a top lawyer for Mr. Modi’s government. It was Ms. Anand, he said, who delivered his list to the Department of Telecommunications.

“Yes, Mr. Vaswani gave me that list of porn websites,” Ms. Anand said in an interview. “I did not instruct the ministry to block, but more specifically, take appropriate action.”

A ministry official told Mint that “We have only disabled the websites and not banned them… Once the (Supreme) Court gives its ruling on the case, then we will take a final call.”

Via Flickr

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