Bummer! Rs 3 Lakh Fine & 3 years Jail For Viewing Blocked URLs, Using Torrents in India
This is certainly one other aspect of Digital India which has created a ruckus all around as lovers of torrents and porn are scrambling to get their act together; and realize the hard truth.
As per a report by India Today, it has been revealed that Govt. of India has intensified their attack against piracy and porn in a massive way. Any internet user who opens up any blocked URL or views any torrent file can be jailed for 3 years, and/or forced to pay a fine of Rs 3 lakh.
Earlier, the only the uploaders of pirated content on websites or torrent sites were thought to be in danger of any legal prosecution; however, the latest warning is against every Internet user who dares to even open such sites and view torrent files.
Communities across the web are now buzzing with enquires as to how can an Indian internet user bypass such draconian laws, and what are the tricks which can save them from a possible jail term.
Torrent users and porn lovers are rattled by this new warning from the Govt., and things are shaking up faster than we thought.
What Has Suddenly Changed?
Earlier, in case any Internet user tried to access any blocked URL or any banned torrent website, then a humble, harmless warning used to appear:
For instance, here is a warning for a blocked website bigfile.to:
However, now, this harmless warning has been converted into a direct threat from the Govt., informing the gullible user that now, he can be jailed for three years and forced to pay a fine of Rs 3 lakh.
As per the India Today report, here is the new warning:
As per the text of the warning, from now, Indian Copyright Act 1957 would be implied in such cases of violation; and specifically, Section 63, Section 63-A, Section 65 and Section 65-A would be applied against the ‘culprit’, which means jail and heavy fine.
The warning says: “Viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating an illicit copy of the contents under this URL is punishable as an offence under the laws of India, including but not limited to under Sections 63, 63-A, 65 and 65-A of the Copyright Act, 1957 which prescribe imprisonment for 3 years and also fine of upto Rs. 3,00,000/-”
What Does It Mean?
The warning can be a vague attempt to dissuade potential violators of rules, and discourage them to open any blocked URL or banned torrent site.
However, considering the fact the the warning clearly mentions the specific sections of Indian Copyright Act, 1957, law enforcement authorities have been given free hand to prosecute and arrest any violators they find.
To be extra safe, experts of the dark web are suggesting using VPNs located in foreign locations if anyone wants to access banned URLs and/or torrent websites (which are banned in India). However, we would suggest that keep off from these prohibited websites for time being.
Because the laws mentioned are ambiguous, and the threats presented are real. In case you access such sites, and then suddenly find police officers knocking at your door next morning; then there ain’t much you can do.
We will keep you updated as more details come in.