ISPs run into technical issue for warning message on banned sites

26 Aug, 2016

mobile-internet2Internet service providers are facing technical limitations in complying with a Mumbai High Court order that required them to display error message to visitors of blocked websites warning them of 3 years' jail and a fine of up to Rs 3 lakh in case they use it.

"With due respect to the high court, ISPs get multiple orders from courts for blocking websites and webpages for multiple films. Technically, we can display one message for one website or web link, but if there are two or more than two orders for same website or page, then different error messages cannot be displayed," ISPAI President Rajesh Charria told PTI.

Acting on petition by counsel of Eros International for movie Dhishoom, the Mumbai High Court issued an order on July 26 that ISPs should block websites illegally hosting the movie.

The order asked ISPs to display four messages for those visiting the websites or webpages warning them that viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy will be a crime that can attract imprisonment for 3 years and also a fine of up to Rs 3 lakh for it.

ISPs, he said, are clueless about which court order they need to comply with as they received orders recently from different courts to block around 11,000 websites and pages that were hosting pirated versions of Sultan, Rustom and Great Grand Masti.

Asked about the monitoring mechanism that ISPs have in place for people visiting the blocked websites, Charria said role of Internet companies is limited to blocking messages and displaying error message and monitoring falls under the domain of law enforcement agencies.

A government official said monitoring compliance of content being watched by people on the Internet is "very difficult" as it will need deep inspection of messages being transmitted and accepted by computers of individuals which may lead to breach of their privacy.

"Since there is a court order in place, we need to work on it and ensure its compliance. If required, we may go back to court for clarity on such orders," the official said.

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