In proceedings before CIC, IFF obtains website censorship orders from DoT and MTNL

In February 2021, we filed Right to Information (‘RTI’) applications with the Department of Telecommunications (‘DoT’) and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (‘MTNL’). We asked for the number of websites they blocked because of orders of competent courts in 2020 and 2021, and copies of such orders. While DoT did not provide us with complete information, MTNL claimed exemption under S.8(1)(a) and 8(a)(d) of the RTI Act, 2005. We appealed to the Central Information Commission (‘CIC’), which held hearings on both the RTIs on 20.09.2022. Before the hearing, MTNL reconsidered its stance and informed us that it had blocked 4700 websites in 2020 and 2021. On the other hand, CIC directed DoT to provide copies of the banning  orders from 2020 and 2021.

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