India has a habit of arbitrarily banning any website that is deemed to have inappropriate content, or have complaints against it from certain parties. While taking action on a complaint is necessary, banning an entire website is not a sustainable solution. Now, it’s happened again.
According to Mumbai Mirror, the popular file sharing service WeTransfer has been banned by the Department of Telecommunications, citing national security.
In an order on May 18, the telecom department directed internet service providers to ban 3 specific website URLs. Two if them are specific WeTransfer pages, while the third is the website in its entirety.
A huge number of people the world over use the site in general, and during the lockdown, many Indians are using it to share files and make working from home more manageable. Banning it will have consequences.
The order cites a stipulation of the Unified License that states,
In the interest of national security or public interest, the Licensee shall block Internet sites/Uniform Resource Locators (URLs)/Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs) and/or individual subscribers, as identified and directed by the Licensor from time to time.
However, it is important to note that, according to reports, WeTransfer still appears to be working on Airtel ISPs at the moment. However, updates to this situation are awaited.