Now, websites such as Reddit, messaging service Telegram and comedy site CollegeHumor have been blocked on networks operated by Jio, a unit of Reliance Industries, Bharti Airtel and Hathway.
CSPs including some circles of Jio, Vodafone, and ISPs like You Broadband, Jio Fiber, both the CSPs and ISPs have not specified a reason for the block.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of popular porn websites are also blocked in India on the internet or 4G connections offered by companies like Jio, Airtel, BSNL, MTNL, and others.
According to a list aggregated by an India-based internet advocacy group, the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), the ISPs in India, apart from banning the sites that host porn videos, are also banning a host of other sites. The list includes the sites and platforms that provide a virtual private network or VPN and proxy sites that can be used by the web users in India to access the sites banned by the government.
While the reports against Reliance Jio mainly focussed around the blocking of VPNs and proxy sites, reports against Airtel were mainly centered around blocking of Telegram, a chat app considered more private and secure than WhatsApp and others.
The IFF mentioned,
Users are generally not aware of the reasons for network interference with websites and internet services in India. There are no clear statements or information available on the reason which may emerge from any legal order that is made available to them. They also are left wondering if this fault may be caused due to a technical error or may have commercial or regulatory interest attached to it.
Users expressed their frustration over their inability to access VPN sites, torrent sites, multi-hosting platforms and proxy sites on their network connections.