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Porn ban row: Our commitment to freedom of expression is total, says govt

PTI
Published Aug 6, 2015, 12:50 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 7:26 am IST
Govt received flak over its order to block access to 857 pornographic and humour websites
Representational Image.
 Representational Image.

New Delhi: Forced to revise its decision to block access to pornographic and humour websites, government on Wednesday asserted that its "commitment to freedom of speech and expression is total" and underlined that it had actively promoted social media.

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's assertion came after his ministry yesterday decided that the access to only child pornographic websites would be denied and not all websites having porn contents, an order it had issued earlier inviting sharp criticism on social media.

 

"Our government's commitment to freedom of speech and expression is total. We fully appreciate the great movement of the communication of ideas on social media," he said, underscoring how the Modi government has actively encouraged collaborating with social media users for various schemes.

He said the name 'Jan Dhan' scheme and the logo of Mahatma Gandhi's glasses in 'Swachh Bharat' campaign was first proposed by social media users.

Prasad said his government had acted on a court's direction in a matter being heard by it since 2013.

Facing flak over its order to block access to 857 pornographic and humour websites, government had on Tuesday lifted ban on all those websites that do not feature child pornographic content.

 

Days after its blanket ban order drew severe criticism on social media and other forum, the Department of Telecom in an order today said, "The intermediaries (ISPs) are hereby directed that they are free not to disable any of the 857 URLs, which do not have child pornographic content."

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