There is a bad news for the viewers of the torrent website and blocked URL in India. Torrent is the most sought after media download site in the world which is blocked by several countries in the world including India. If you try to view the information on such site and URL’s, you may get 3 years in jail and need to pay the fine which may extend up to Rs. 3 lakh. The penalty is just for viewing a torrent file or downloading a file from a URL that is banned in India. The law for the same has been implemented by the Indian government, with the help of internet service providers and under the directives of court. Read the complete report here.
The government has been carrying out trials on how to implement the blocks and sort out what message to show the users. In India, most of the URLs and websites were blocked using DNS-filtering. This means the DNS of the blocked site was added to a list maintained by the internet service provider and whenever a user tried connecting to that site, the DNS server of the internet service provider would block that request. However, this was easy to bypass as a lot of people started using – or were already using – third-party DNS services such as those maintained by Google. It is also ineffective if a site uses encryption to secure the network between the user’s computer and the site server.
The government of India is trying its level best to manage a number of internet gateways in India, therefore instead of relying on internet service providers, it took into consideration big companies like Tata Communications and Airtel.
Bombay High Court recently asked internet service providers in India to not just block URLs but also explain to users why the URLs are blocked and possibly warn them of consequences of illegally accessing copyright work. Basically, the main idea is to tell the viewers that downloading a film is illegal, and if they do so they will invite a penalty for them. However, it seems that Tata, which in this case allegedly came up with a message that is incredibly poorly worded and the intend to convey something more than what was implied. The message not only implies that you may get in trouble if you download a film but may also face the law if you just manage to access that URL and “view” the content of the URL.
As of now, it is clear that you may land up in jail — or at least in trouble — if someone pushes for it. Now, it is possible whatever charges you face if you visit a blocked may not hold up in the court but as far as the warning message is concerned, it makes it clear that visiting any blocked URL in India — and not just a torrent URL — has potential to land a web user in trouble.
If you visit such a URL, you will be shown the following warning.
“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 of this URL is punishable as an offense 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 up to Rs. 3,00,000/-. Any person aggrieved by any such blocking of this URL may contact at [email protected] 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”