After Porn And Torrent Websites, Reddit, Telegram, College Humor Blocked in India
Image used for representational purpose (Photo Credits: ANI)

New Delhi, April 4: After a crackdown on porn and torrent websites, several other sites are being blocked in India. Groups advocating net neutrality alleged websites such as discussion board Reddit, messaging service Telegram and comedy site College Humor were blocked for intermittent periods in some parts of India. The blockade raises questions on the enforcement of net neutrality rules.

When Latestly tried to access CollegeHumor.com on Thursday a message read: “Your requested URL has been blocked as per the directions received from Department of Telecommunications, Government of India.” However, Telegram and Reddit websites were available. "It’s not making any sense, what’s happening," Apar Gupta, executive director at the non-profit Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), told Reuters.

"A lot of these blocks are also happening in such a way that no notices are displayed," Gupta said. The news agency also approached Bharti Airtel to know whether they have blocked any of the three websites, the telecom provider said in a statement it “supports an open internet” and does not block content unless directed by authorities. However, it did not clarify whether it was currently blocking any websites.

The Telecom Commission had in 2018 approved net neutrality rules which bar service providers from discriminating against Internet content and services by blocking, throttling or granting them higher speed access. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recommended restrictions on service providers from entering into agreements which lead to discriminatory treatment of content on the Internet.

However, torrent sites that offer free movie and Reddit, Telegram, College Humorusic downloads were blocked in India to prevent copyright infringement. Pornography websites are also blocked by court orders.