The recent blocking of the VLC Media Player – According to VLC Media Player, on February 13th, India banned access to its website.
The non-profit organization that created VLC Media Player, VideoLAN, verified the blockage of the website for the media player in a number of tweets on its official Twitter account. The Paris-based organization said that India has restricted access to its main website since February 13. The formal justification for the block has not yet been made public. According to an RTI request made by the digital rights group Internet Freedom Foundation, the government is not aware of the reason the VLC website is being blocked throughout the nation. The Google Play store and Apple’s App Store both provide the multimedia player for download.
VideoLan president and principal developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf confirmed that the open-source VLC video player’s site has been banned in India since February 13 of this year through a forum post on Hacker News. He said that the website has been restricted by various ISPs (Internet service providers). “We contacted the Indian authorities, but received no response. However, we probably asked in the wrong location. I wish I knew the right way to ask,” Kemp wrote.
The fact that some ISPs are blocking it while others are not is the strangest. Why is it the case then? He said, “Are some ISPs not paying attention to the government?
According to a TechCrunch story citing Jean-Baptiste Kempf, the website’s traffic from the South Asian market fell by 80% on February 13. According to him, 10% of all VLC users globally are from India, and as a result of the restriction, website traffic has decreased by 20%.
After the official website was blocked, VideoLAN used Twitter to ask for assistance from Indian users. The cause of the ban is still unknown, according to an RTI (Right to Information) request made by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF).
The Department of Telecom (DoT) received an RTI regarding the website’s ban in June, according to the digital freedoms group. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology received the request after the DoT forwarded it to them (MeitY). MeitY responded on July 14 by saying, “No information is available [with MeitY],” according to IFF.
“Sought data on the grounds on which videolan[dot]org has been prohibited for access in India and if any hearing chance was provided to the site owners before the website was stopped for access in India,” the group is quoted as saying by IFF. The IFF, however, claimed to have received a one-line response stating that MeitY does not hold such information.
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According to reports, proxy websites can be used to access the VideoLAN website. VLC Media Player is still available on Google Play and the App Store for current users. However, new users cannot get the software through the official website. This may put users at risk for security issues if they try to obtain the well-liked video player from unofficial sources.