Net Neutrality

If you are one of those who loves to browse the internet through VPN and Jio is your service provider then we have some bad news for you. In the recent report by Quartz, Reliance Jio, which is the third largest telecom operator in the country, is apparently blocking proxy websites on its network. The proxy websites are used to avoid the geographical Internet restrictions. Which is violation of Net Neutrality.

While writing this post we at Viral Mobile Tech has tasted the various websites which have been blocked include Hide.me, VPNbook, Hidester, Kproxy, Proxysite, Proxy.toolur, and Megaproxy where being blocked. Just to cross verify we have tried accessing these sites through Vodafone and Airtel and they were accessible, which clearly indicates that Jio is blocking these sites. These websites allow users to download VPN software and hide users’ IP address.

While accessing the sites ISP gives message “You are not authorized to access this web page as per the DOT compliance.” It is important to highlight that VPN sites being blocked is a serious issue as VPN is not illegal in India and therefore such decisions taken by ISP deserves a proper explanation.

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Apar Gupta, executive director of Internet Freedom Foundation, speculated to Quartz that the fact that the proxy websites are accessible on other networks indicates that Jio may be blocking them independent of any government order. However, given the general lack of transparency around the website blocking orders in India, it is almost impossible to find why a certain website is being blocked in the country.

Gupta also argued that Jio’s apparent blocking of proxy websites also violates a core principle of Net Neutrality that the ISP should not interfere with the access choice of a user. We have written to Reliance Jio for more information on the matter, but we could not elicit a response till the time of publication. We will update the story if we hear back from the telecom operator.

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Rahul is the founder and content producer at Viral Mobile Tech. He loves technology and mobile more than anything else. His 80% time goes in Playing with technology and reading about the new stuff. Exploring new technology is his passion.

You reach can him on rahul@ViralMobileTech.com.

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