India’s IT Ministry Lifts Ban on VLC Media Player

TECHNOLOGY

India’s Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) has lifted the ban on the VLC Media Player website, approximately nine months after the ministry first issued directions to block the website of VideoLAN, company that operates VLC Media Player.

In October 2022, MeitY sent a letter to VideoLAN in which it detailed the reasons behind blocking its website in India, saying that the website was censored for allegedly communicating with servers of a previously banned app called Onmyoji Arena that was transferring sensitive personal data of Indian users to a hostile country.

The letter had come after VideoLAN, with assistance from the digital rights group Internet Freedom Foundation, had issued a legal notice to the IT ministry, seeking to know the reasons for which the website had been blocked in India.

On Monday, November 14, 2022, the IT ministry of India sent an email to VideoLAN saying that the competent authority of India has approved unblocking the domain name videolan.org.

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In its response to MeitY, VideoLAN has denied the claims that the website had been communicating to the servers in the hostile country. According to VideoLAN, the website does not transmit any user data to its servers, which are located in the geographical territory of France, with solo the exception of the name of its version and operating system.