Sanjeev Kotnala: Banning Porn… not just Joking!

05 Aug,2015

By Sanjeev Kotnala

 

As usual it is the illiterate and the man of no-means that gets crucified at these illogical irrational ‘Looking Tokyo Talking London’ decisions of the government. In a ridiculous attempt to contain child pornography, the Indian government has banned a set of adult content sites creating a panic kneejerk reaction from lovers of the art.

 

The debate on porn leading to violence and crime is not new.  A far as I know it is even less conclusive than is ‘smoking leading to cancer’. At the same time, it has also not proved if accessing such sites helps in keeping in check the tendencies of violence and crime. It is interesting to note that this seems to be the government’s response to a PIL that said “Watching porn itself puts the country’s security in danger, encourages violent acts, unacceptable behaviour in society, exploitation of children and lowers the dignity of women.”

 

A lot that happened in privacy and anonymity was troubling no one. Yet, the government action has forced many to check if they were missing something. Ban and scarcity has direct relationship with desirability in life. And they never work out.

 

In its global impact, many homes abroad are feeling the impact of denial of second income. Phone lines are silent. Wait and watch instructions have been issued. Camera remains unloaded.  Many women finally find time for their neglected life. The traffic is low from the land of Kamasutra.

 

In some garage, people are recording lines of gibberish. They are hell bent on circumventing the guidelines they know nothing about. They are busy masking, forwarding and diverting the traffic.  They are busy shifting through their big data in creating altered URLs. The loyal users must get access. A load of spam mail is hitting inboxes with new URLs and invitations. Work on this front is at pace that our government cannot even dream of.

 

Delhi is unable to understand. They find the noise level against porn sites ban as orgasmic. They believe they have the power. They can decide what to serve and what to deny. The intent cannot be faulted. Ban child pornography. Everyone agrees with it. What is objected is the execution style. The bans includes adult dating sites and porn blogs too. It includes Adult Friend Finder and Fleshbot. ‘Ghehu kay saath gun bhi pista hai’. When you grind wheat, the bugs are also get grinded. In the digital era, people defining this country, dream of denying access and literally ban access to fulfilment of a critical emotional needs. They dream that industry mafia will willingly help them. How ignorant  can they be?

 

Oh, there is bonus in this action. It works magic. Suddenly masses are jumping the digital literacy chain. In last 24 hours, many have started using free proxy and virtual private network (VPN) services as oart of their native knowledge. Suddeny the Android mobile sale has been impacted allowing user ease of  masking and bypassing geographical blocks. Hidemyass, IPVanish,  VyprVPN and ExpressVPN see large download of their software

 

In the process, audience have branded them as Ban Government. Unfortunately, like many other dictate emerging from these corridors of power, this too has failed to take audiences into confidence. It lacks transparency.  All you have is leaks or inferred understanding by digitally savvy influencers. This is suicidal in digital era that is potently charged with social media intervention.

 

What is happening? Here is what someone said jokingly but I would not take it lightly.

 

What if the government, known for understanding  ‘Maan Ki Baat’ is looking at rationing Porn usage? Linking it to your Adhar Card and PAN Number. This ban is the first step in trying to get it under the service tax and a regulatory body. Maybe it is all about feeling the pinch of lack of ‘Made in India’ in this Industry.

 

If rationed, porn usage will be governed by your geographical location, gender, age, education and life status. These will define your degree of accessibility. The units will be provided at a subsidy to minority and senior citizens.  The units will remain tradable and managed under a liberalised economic agenda by a new body called PORNex.  Hoarding of these units will not be tolerated and can result in blacklisting and denial of service. Net neutrality be dammed, sites showing movies, the one that lets you talk anything under the sun and the sheets in hushed sexy tone and the one allowing interrupted steaming interaction will be charged differential access rate.

 

Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai is Desh mein.

 

As I write this, I believe that sense will prevail and as a Step One, the government will lift the ban on adult sites not indulging in child porn. Or be wiling to be reprimanded by the Supreme Court on the issue of freedom of expression and privacy.

 

**

 

I am firmly against ban in pornography though there may be ways in which the government can help redefining usage patterns

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On a Serious Note:

The ministry of communications and information and technology, in its order of July 31 under section 79(3)(b) of the IT Act 2000 had banned 857 websites terming their content “immoral and indecent”. As a chosen Government, they are within the rights to define and decide what is immoral and indecent and further to decide if the citizen of the country be denied or allowed access to it. It is stated that this ban is temporary and a prelude to creating a regular regulatory. Viewing adult content by adult is not illegal. Its transmission/publishing surely is. No one is breaking any law while accessing these site privately. Most of the sites hosted abroad, thus circumventing the rules. Banning is also against Freedom of Expression.

 

Sanjeev Kotnala is Founder and Head Catalyst at Intradia. A Brand, Marketing and Management Advisor. He conducts specialised workshops in the area of IDEATION (Harvest and Liberate) and Innovation (InNoWait). To contact email sanjeev@intradia.in  or tweet at s_kotnala visit www.intradia.in  www.sanjeevkotnala.com. The views expressed here are his own.

 

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One response to “Sanjeev Kotnala: Banning Porn… not just Joking!”

  1. Anonymous says:

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