240 Websites Offering Escort Services in India Are Banned !

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In an act to kerb the rising number of escort services, Indian Government has put a ban on 240 websites that offered escort services in India. An expert panel working under the Ministry of Home Affairs had recommended the ban of the websites citing the complaints from anguished people over the thriving market. According to a source, the majority of such websites belonged to Mumbai.

To make the ban effective, the government has ordered the Internet Service Providers (ISP) in India to either block the websites immediately or face the strict actions under Technology Rules, 2009. However, ISPs do not see much of credibility in the initiative. Blocking the website doesn’t mean that the escort service won’t function again, according to an executive of an ISP provider. There have been numerous incidents in the past when websites offering escorts services in India were blocked by ISPs. Later they cropped up again with changed name and link. Tracking the mobile phone numbers, however, will be the wise move in such a situation as it’ll lead straight to the culprits by passing all technical challenges.

“Government should also make efforts to stop escorts advertisements in newspapers. It is a half-hearted approach to resolving a real problem. Only Indian websites have been asked to be blocked, as per my observation,” according to the ISP executive.

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Last year the Government took the similar step by blocking 857 porn websites on the grounds of ‘decency and morality’ including the popular ones too. But Later the ban was uplifted citing the criticism on social media platforms and only child pornography was banned.

Obscene website bans over the globe

Indian rules are quite lenient compared to other neighbouring countries. In Saudi Arabia, if a person is caught watching/sharing/selling/possessing the porn content, he would be fined Rs 5.35 crore or 3 million Saudi Riyals ($800,000). Saudi Arabia’s Communication and Information Technology Commission (CITC) has blocked around 600,000 porn websites in the last two years.

Pakistan Telecommunications authority has put a ban on 200,000 websites till date and has submitted a report to the Supreme Court regarding the obscene content of 84,000 websites. Pakistan has also banned YouTube for 3 years in a row before unblocking it lately. The fact to be noted here is that Pakistan is the epitome of ‘porn-searching countries’.

Indonesia has blocked, Vimeo (a video-hosting site similar to YouTube), Tumblr, and 477 other websites over obscene content. The country houses the largest Muslim population in the world.

Escort Services and Porn Content: An Online multi Million Dollar Business in India

Selling escort services in India online is the fastest route to reach prospective customers for people offering such services. The growing adoption of the Internet, Smartphone and involved complexity make it difficult for the authorities to track the culprits. Consequently, a number of similar new websites mushroom every month despite regular cleansing the Internet by authorities.

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In India, 50% of the porn content is consumed via Smartphone and the overall content size consumed online is far greater than any other content website. People in India are spending more time on porn websites compared to any other online properties. Each porn content consumer in India views nearly 7 pages per visit, which is almost equivalent to the world’s average of 7.6 views per visit. The scenario is no different when it comes to Escort Services. Nearly 5 out of every 10 escort services in India is availed through online websites.

This has made the online porn industry and escort services a multi-million dollar business, albeit illegal, in India.

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