One of the most popular Telecom operators from India is acting really strange these days. Recently, some Reddit users reported that Reliance Jio is blocking several VPN and proxy websites. If we were to trust sources like Quartz, we would think that access to these domains was blocked in order to solve India’s issues with online pornography.
On the list of blocked websites we can find names like VPNbook, Hide.me, Hidester, Kproxy, Megaproxy, Proxysite and Proxy.toolur. The Indians’ access to these addresses was blocked because they allow users to get VPN software by downloading from the Internet. Also, they can serve as a tool for hiding the users’ IP address.
The Telecom operator’s move is quite surprising, but we should wait and see what the future holds
This is the first time when Reliance Jio blocks the users’ access to VPNs and proxy websites. Furthermore, the blocked websites are run by other Telecom operators, like Airtel, Spectranet, ACT or Vodafone.
Another intriguing fact is that the Government of India didn’t specifically request the blocking or banning of websites with profiles like those mentioned above. In this case, what could have caused Reliance Jio to make such a decision?
The operator refused to comment on this matter, but they could be heading towards serious problems. Their action could fall into the incidence of net neutrality violation. This means that they could be charged with not treating all the online data equally.
On the other hand, it’s quite difficult to determine the exact cause of websites restrictions. The lack of transparency around this process makes everything harder. Even so, VPNs are not illegal in India and blocking them is not a good idea.
It looks like Reliance Jio has some explaining to do. Let’s see what they have to say about the mentioned situation.
Cameron Potvin is a seasoned journalist with nearly 6 years experience. While studying journalism at the New Mexico State University, Cameron found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to News Lair, Cameron mostly covers state and national developments.