According to Reuters, India’s government has banned the popular, and controversial, cartoon porn site Savitabhabhi.com.
In a communication dated June 3, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology asked all ISPs to block the site.
Under the IT Act, the Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA), a government agency that falls under the rubric of the Department of Information Technology, is entrusted to block websites. “There were several complaints against the site. We have taken action under the relevant sections of the IT Act and blocked the site,” said N. Vijayaditya, of the CCA.
Concerns have been growing over upcoming amendments to the IT Act that would give the Indian government power to block any website, without allowing site owners/creators a legal hearing or naming their reason for doing so.
The year-old Savitabhabhi.com is an adult cartoon strip featuring a married Indian woman’s sexual adventures. Considering the relative conservatism of the nation, the site was met with problems from its inception, despite its enormous popularity, evidenced by the more than 1 million weekly site visitors before the ban went into effect.
When reached for comment, the main brain behind Savitabhabhi.com, who goes by the handle Deshmukh, wrote in an e-mail interview with ContentSutra.com that they were exploring legal options. “We are talking to our lawyers and trying to figure out our options. The initial reaction is since the site does not pose any threat to India’s national security and is not illegal, it must be against some international treaty to block it. However, we are still working on the legal angle.”
The site’s owners are based in the European Union; at press time, they had not received any notification about the site ban.
When reached for comment by ContentSutra, graphic novelist Sarnath Banerjee, who is writing a collection of short stories about sex in India, said, “Wow, India has now joined the elite club of China, Iran, North Korea and suchlike in the area of Internet censorship.”