One man's porn is another's art: Internet service providers to SC | india | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
May 24, 2017-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

One man's porn is another's art: Internet service providers to SC

“One man’s pornography is another man’s high art”. This is what the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) has been maintaining before the SC, pointing out the definition of pornography was subjective and made it difficult for them to ban such sites.

india Updated: Aug 06, 2015 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Porn ban

The-Internet-Service-Providers-Association-of-India-ISPAI-has-now-decided-to-approach-the-communications-ministry-to-seek-clarification-on-the-definition-of-pornography-and-child-pornography-and-the-parameters-that-violate-it-Shutterstock

“One man’s pornography is another man’s high art”. This is what the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) has been maintaining before the Supreme Court, pointing out the definition of pornography was subjective and made it difficult for them to ban such sites.

A day after service providers said they were confused by a government order to unblock any pornographic websites that didn’t display child porn, ISPAI president Rajesh Chharia argued on Thursday the core issue was defining pornography.

“It changes from Delhi to Bombay. An actress in a bikini may be normal for a person living in a metropolitan city but a small town resident may call it porn. The question is how much liberty we give users. This can only come by self-regulation and not by court or government directives,” he said.

The government triggered an uproar on July 31 when it asked service providers to disable 857 pornographic websites with activists saying the Centre was impinging on personal liberties and the right to privacy.

After the controversy, the telecommunications department told service providers they were free not to disable any of the websites that did not feature child pornography but ISPs said they were unable to identify offenders. The onus of detecting which websites featured child pornography was placed on the service providers, experts said.

Chharia said ISPs act in accordance to a court or government order and never entertain personal request to block a site. “But it is not possible for us to view content and then decide which site should be disabled,” he told HT.

In its affidavit before the top court, the association said ISPs lacked institutional and legal capacity to judge pornography and weren’t in a position to take action against any websites without a court or government order.

“There is no unanimously accepted definition of pornography and boundaries are amorphous. Would medical or AIDS awareness websites be pornography? Would photographs of Khajuraho be termed so?” it said.

Read

Child pornography stays banned but govt unblocks other sites

We aren't control freaks: Govt gets down to explain porn ban