Recently the Tamil website Savukku was ordered to be blocked by Madras High Court. Although the process has not been completed yet the website is available with proxy URLs making the entire judicial exercise redundant. This is how technology works and the judiciary must also keep this aspect of technology in mind while ordering blocking of websites.
The website in dispute is now also available under proxy URLs in varying forms of the name of the HC judge who gave the order. This practically means that even if the department of electronics and information technology (DeitY) blocks the disputed website, the same would be openly available and accessible to public at large. Further, if the website is blocked at the server level, the owner of the website can reload the contents if he maintains a data backup.
Another problem in this regard is the conflict of laws in cyberspace that would make the order of the Madras High Court redundant. For instance, if the disputed website is rehosted on a server located in a foreign jurisdiction, the order of the Court may not be enforced so readily. Even if the order is enforced it would take considerable period of time making the entire exercise futile.
The mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) is also not fruitful in all cases. Recently United States refused to serve Indian summons upon U.S. companies and this problem is often faced during conflict of laws in cyberspace. Although some development in this field has taken place after the establishment of Indo-American Alert, Watch and Warn Network for real time information sharing in cyber crime cases yet the position has remained the same so far.
India urgently needs a techno legal framework to manage cyberspace issues in general and conflict of laws in cyberspace in particular. Otherwise the judicial decision would not serve any purpose at all.