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    Indian railways. Image: Wikimedia

    Hot Damn, People Watched a Lot of Porn at This Indian Railway Station

    Written by

    Madison Margolin

    Contributor

    There seems to be a global battle between free wi-fi and porn this week, from NYC and London to India.

    Last week it was reported that people at Patna Junction railway station were using the free wi-fi more than any other station in India. And they were using it to watch epic amounts of porn, according to the India Times. This week, officials swept in to ban pornographic searches, according to a survey by RailTel, the telecom company providing the internet.

    The free wi-fi is supposed to be used for tracking where trains are, said Arvind Rajak, East Central Railway chief public relations officer in the India Times, but "unfortunately, the facility was being used for some 'other' purposes."

    Read more: London's New Wi-Fi Kiosks Won't Have Public Browsing Due to NYC's Porn Problem

    RailTel said it is beginning to block all questionable sites, not just porn, at Patna Junction, as well as other nearby stations with free wi-fi. However, since authorities deem that the wifi had been exploited wrongfully, the railway ministry is rethinking the free internet program, a railway board official told India Times.

    None of this comes as a huge surprise to those watching India’s relationship with the internet. India has a history of stringent regulation and censorship. In 2012, Reporters Without Borders added India to the list of "countries under surveillance," while Freedom House's “Freedom on the Net 2015” report gave India a "partly free" status.

    In 2013, India's Department of Telecom had internet service providers block 39 websites, including web forums, image sharing, and porn, and in 2014, file hosting and file sharing sites were banned, including Google Docs, Google Videos, and The Pirate Bay.

    But the rules seem arbitrary when it comes to porn. In the summer of 2015, India's government tried to ban porn altogether, having initially blocked, and then reversed that block, on 857 porn sites, as Motherboard reported. Then government officials told internet service providers that they no longer had to block porn sites so long as they didn't feature children.

    Read more: India Partially Reverses Porn Block

    "The ban will be partially withdrawn. Sites that do not promote child porn will be unbanned," Ravi Shankar Prasad, information and technology minister, said last August.

    While the government of India still frowns on porn, these blanket bans are against the law: In July 2015, India's Supreme court ruled that the government had no place interfering with people's right to consume whatever kind of media they wanted in the privacy of their own homes. After that ruling, there was a crackdown specifically on child porn.

    Nevertheless, the world is still figuring out how to deliver free wi-fi without delivering lots of free porn.