virtually India lifts VLC obtain ban • TechCrunch
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India has lifted its VLC obtain ban, greater than 9 months after it mysteriously blocked the official web site of the favored media participant software program within the South Asian market. VideoLAN, the developer of the favored software program, filed a authorized discover final month searching for a proof from the nation’s IT and Telecommunications ministries for the blocking order.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT has eliminated its ban on the VLC media participant web site, the New Delhi-based advocacy group Web Freedom Basis, which has offered authorized help to VideoLAN, stated on Monday. VideoLAN confirmed the order.
“This ban was applied with out discover and with out giving VideoLAN the chance for a listening to, which was in contravention of the 2009 Blocking Guidelines and the regulation established by the Supreme Court docket in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India. This was unusual as a result of VLC Media Participant is open supply software program utilized by practically 80 million Indians,” IFF stated in an announcement.
Indian telecom operators started blocking VideoLAN’s official web site, the place it lists hyperlinks to obtain VLC, in February this yr, VideoLAN’s president and lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf instructed TechCrunch in a earlier interview. India is without doubt one of the largest markets for VLC.
The overwhelming majority of individuals depend on the official VLC web site to obtain the favored app.
“Most main ISPs [internet service providers] they’re banning the positioning, with varied strategies,” Kempf stated of the blocking in India. In gentle of the lockdown, the positioning instantly noticed an 80% drop in site visitors from the South Asian market, he instructed TechCrunch.
Final month, VideoLAN and the Web Freedom Basis used authorized means to acquire solutions and redress across the ban. India’s IT ministry by no means made the ban order public, however all telecom operators within the nation complied with it. In its authorized discover final month, VideoLAN requested a duplicate of the blocking order.
Indian telecom operators by no means revealed why they had been blocking VideoLAN’s web site, however some speculated that it is likely to be because of a misinterpretation of a safety warning from earlier this yr.
Safety agency Symantec reported in April this yr that the Cicada hacking group, which has ties to the Chinese language authorities, was exploiting VLC Media Participant in addition to a number of different standard functions to realize distant entry to victims’ computer systems. Kempf stated that he was by no means contacted by any authorities company.
Downloaded greater than 3.5 billion instances worldwide, VLC is an area media participant that doesn’t require Web entry or a connection to any specific on-line service for the overwhelming majority of its features. A crash on their web site didn’t considerably have an effect on the present VLC set up base.
However by blocking the web site, India was pushing its residents to “shady web sites operating a hacked model of VLC.” So they’re endangering their very own residents with this ban,” Kempf warned.
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