India orders telecoms to block more than 850 adult websites on grounds of decency

India has ordered Internet service providers to block access to more than 850 adult websites in what the government describes as a way to protect social decency.

N.N. Kaul, a spokesman for India's department of telecom, said Monday the government was controlling easy access to pornography following a directive from the country's top court.

Kaul said that while Internet service providers in India will have to bar access, users may still view the sites through virtual private networks and proxy servers. He said the move would protect children.

The leaked government order asks service providers to block access to the 857 sites on grounds of morality and decency.

The order has caused a furor with many in the country accusing the government of moral policing and infringing on personal freedoms.