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Indian ISP Airtel fined for inappropriately blocking websites

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Indian internet service provider Airtel has been fined Rs 20,000 for incorrectly blocking websites after misinterpreting a court order.

Ethernet / Internet (stock)
Ethernet / Internet (stock)

In May, copyright enforcement firm Copyright Labs obtained a court order demanding that Indian internet service providers block sites that illegally provided footage from films Dammu and 3. The intention of the court order was to block specific URLs but, according to The Hindu, Copyright Labs CEO Harish Ram had noticed that ISP Airtel had taken action on entire sites. As a result of the block, Shimoga resident Vinay B. was unable to download an app at one of the sites, persuading him to submit a petition to fine the company after failing to resolve the issue through direct contact with Airtel. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum of Shimoga ruled in favor of Vinay, stating that the ISP has provided a "deficiency in service" and fined the company Rs 20,000 ($363) for its actions and Rs 2,000 ($36) towards litigation charges. While Copyright Labs may be right in thinking that Airtel is at fault, the firm received heavy opposition from internet hacking group Anonymous when the content-blocking court order was first introduced: denial of service (DDoS) attacks were launched on 15 websites, including the Indian Supreme Court.

Thanks, Rohit!