Internet users in India are crying foul over Reliance Jio’s apparent efforts to block proxy and VPN websites. According to this report in Quartz, the telecom operator is ensuring that users in the country are not able to access content, even if they try bypassing geolocking regulations via virtual private network (VPN) services.
The report, quoting a Reddit post from 3 January, says that websites like hide.me, vpnbook and few VPN apps on the Jio network didn’t open. Many are complaining about how a telcom operator can block a website, especially with India strongly advocating net neutrality in the world.
Even the Internet Freedom Foundation, which was instrumental in India abiding by net neutrality a few years back, publicly shared its disappointment about Jio’s apparent banning of websites.
Are VPNs being blocked by your ISP? If yes, please paste below with details of ISP and VPN provider. https://t.co/Qucn7nODjQ— Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) (@internetfreedom) December 17, 2018
As you can see above, we tested out a few proxy websites, tried opening them on multiple networks, including Jio and much to our surprise, the former did not let us access the website, while on Vodafone and Airtel we were able to open the page.
These VPN websites come in handy to access porn websites as well, which is a large chunk of content consumed by Indian users via mobile internet these days.
This isn’t the first time when a telecom operator has blocked proxy websites. Airtel has also been in the firing line, especially during the time when net neutrality’s case was strongly in discussion in the country.
Reliance Jio, as of the last TRAI report, caters to over 263 million users. Rest assured, Jio subscribers won’t be pleased with this situation.
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