The Internet has been flooded with lot’s of discussions about visiting blocked sites could land people in Jail for 3 years or they have to pay the fine of Rs 3 Lakh. However, latest reports show that you can visit blocked website without any restriction.
No Worries! Visiting Torrent Sites Won’t Land You in Jail
Recently we shared an article which stated that visiting torrent sites or accessing banned sites will land you in prison for three years along with Rs three lakhs ($4468) fine. Many disputes took place behind this enormous step.
As we know Indian government has already blocked numerous websites with the help of Internet service Providers (ISP) but people do visit those blocked websites using various techniques like changing the IP Address or using VPN.
Any users who try visiting any blocked website get to see something like
“This URL has been blocked under the instructions of the Competent Government Authority or in compliance with the orders of a Court of competent jurisdiction. Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at email@example.com who will, within 48 hours, provide you the details of relevant proceedings under which you can approach the relevant High Court or Authority for redressal of your grievance.”
If we took a brief look at the above warning we can see that they warned us for “viewing” the content is illegal. But the thing that grabbed attention is the suggestion that merely “viewing” a blocked URL or website could lead you a fine of Rs 3 Lakh or could land you in jail.
Advocate Apar Gupta disagreed the terms and reported that “Certain news reports indicate that people may be prosecuted for mere access to websites due to the notice by Tata Telecommunications not being phrased correctly. The sections which are referred in the notice do not criminalise mere access in isolation”
Prasanth Sugathan, Counsel at the Software Freedom Law Centre India reported that “Visiting any website, even if it is a blocked site is not illegal either under the provisions of the Copyright Act,1957 or the Information Technology Act, 2000. The only exception could be if a person views child pornography.”
According to the law, they warned us from viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents. However, they didn’t warn us against accessing the site. Therefore, this only means that there are no restrictions on visiting blocked site using any VPN or proxy websites.