RTI Reveals Why VLC Media Player Got Banned In India

Signs of a Ministry-level witch-hunt.

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Image by Manik Berry/Fossbytes

VLC Media Player got banned in India a couple of days ago. The ban came out of nowhere, and the player’s website and download link were blocked. Following the ban, VLC reached out to Indians on Twitter for help. The IFF then filed an RTI asking the ministry why VLC was being blocked. The ministry’s reply is as good as it gets.

It said, “No information is available with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.” This means the government has no idea why it is blocking a website that has been there for years.

IFF appeals for the reply

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) has now appealed to the RTI, asking the government to give details about the ban. This isn’t the first time the Indian IT ministry has been ignorant about banning websites and pages.

In April, an IFF RTI revealed that the MeitY blocked over 6,000 URLs in just 39 meetings. Later in May, the Delhi High Court also ordered the ministry to disclose why it was blocking a website. However, the ministry keeps blocking websites like VLC for no reason.

In its appeal for further response, the IFF calls the ministry’s current response “illegal” and demonstrates “non-application of mind.” The remark calls out the ministry for being discreet without a valid reason. While it remains to be seen what turn the matter takes, the VLC Media Player remains banned for now.

However, one of our peers can access the player and the website as usual. It may be temporary, but you can also try and access it from your end. Do let us know in the comments if you can access VLC Media Player despite its ban in India. In the meantime, please indulge yourself in our list of best VPNs that let you access restricted content.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]

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