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India blocks paper for pornography

Government’s drive to clean up the internet includes blocking French regional newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré

THE Indian government’s latest drive to clean up the internet for its citizens has included a surprise casualty - the French regional newspaper Le Dauphiné libéré.

Its address is included on a list of blocked sites classed as “reprehensible” and described by a solicitor as “worse than Hitler, Aids and cancer”.

Le Monde, which spotted the paper’s address among a list of banned content that was leaked online, said visitors to the site who circumnavigated the government’s blocks were likely to be disappointed.

The list was drawn up India’s telecommunications ministry and submitted to its Supreme Court by the solicitor Kamlesh Vaswani, who made the vigorous comparisons between pornography, Nazism and incurable illness.

While the court rejected the idea, the Indian government appears to have gone ahead with the block. Newspapers in the world’s most-populous democracy have responded with instructions on how to get around the blocks.

India, which wrote the book on sex some time between 400 BCE and 200 CE, is in fourth place, behind the USA, UK and Canada for accessing the porn site Pornhub.

Indian author Chetan Bhagat has opposed the ban, saying that the government should focus on countering rape, not pornography.

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