India to lift ban on VLC downloads

India to lift ban after pressure from local advocacy groups and a lawsuit from VideoLAN


Tech Desk November 15, 2022

India has decided to lift the ban on the popular media playback software, VLC, nine months after it banned the program. 

VideoLAN had filed a legal notice on reasons why it had been banned by the IT and Telecom Ministries. A local advocacy group, Internet Freedom Foundation, supported VideoLAN's suit and pressured the government to lift the unreasonable ban.

In a statement, the IFF said the "strange" ban went against the 2009 Blocking Rules laid down by the Indian Supreme Court, and the open-source software had been used by 80 million Indians. Following the ban, Indian telecom operators had begun blocking access to sites with links to download VLC.

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VideoLAN president and lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf told Tech Crunch that India was its largest market for VLC and the ban had seen an 80% drop in traffic from the South Asian market.

Security firm Symantec had reported that hackers in the Chinese government were using VLC to gain access to victims' computers. However, the ban had driven India even more shady sites, leaving them more prone to cyber-attacks.

 

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