New Delhi: The department of telecommunications had banned about 857 websites in 2015 as the content was found to be pornographic. A few years down the line, the websites are back and, according to reports, no geeky trick is requited to watch them.

While Pornhub is available as pornhub.org, RedTube can be accessed as redtube.net, said the report. The crackdown was only on dot com domain names, the sites can easily be accessed without needing VPN or alternative browsers etc.

Following the department’s directive, major telecom operators like Jio, Airtel, Vodafone also banned websites showing porn and child pornographic content.

It may be noted that the Apex Court in 2015 refused to pass an order banning porn. The three-judge bench, headed by HL Dattu, then Chief Justice of India, said that the top court can’t pass an order like that. Somebody can come to the court and challenge the order saying that he or she is an adult and nothing can actually stop an individual from watching whatever he/she wants within the four walls of the room.

“The Centre has to take a stand. Let us see what stand the Centre will take,” HL Dattu was quoted saying.

Though the Supreme Court didn’t pass any order banning porn, there were orders from lower courts. Under two orders passed by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate of the Esplanade Court in Mumbai in 2016 and 2017, 500 websites were banned. Uttarakhand High Court issued an order in 2018 that led to the national blocking of pornographic sites containing child porn content.

However, for Indian users, it was never really difficult to access porn. The latest version of Opera browser has inbuilt VPN facilitating access to some of the blocked sites. According to the IT Act, publishing child porn or predating children is punishable — imprisonment of up to five years or/and fine up to Rs 10 lakh. Going by this, accessing child porn can invite penalties.