VLC Media Player ban removed in India, now available for download

The Indian Ministry of Electronics and IT has removed the ban on the website of the VLC media player. People in India can now download this multimedia player. The news was first highlighted by the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) of India, which claims to have helped the company by providing legal support for this issue.

The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) tweeted after the ban was lifted.

“VICTORY @GoI_MeitY has decided to remove its ban on the website of VLC media player. IFF provided legal support to @videolan throughout this process. #WhatTheBlock (sic),” read the tweet.

According to the report by the Indian Express, The notice for the ban reportedly came from the Home Ministry under Section 69(A) of the Information Technology Act. But it was banned without any prior notice, which reportedly goes against the 2009 Blocking Rules in Shreya Singhal v. Union of India. The Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF) had filed an RTI in June with the Department of Telecom asking the reason why the website had been blocked.

Neither VLC Media Player nor the government had revealed why the media player was taken down. However, multiple reports suggest the step was taken after the program was used by the China-backed hacking group Cicada for cyber attacks. Reports also added that VLC Media Player was used by Cicada to deploy malicious code on target machines, as part of a larger cyber attack campaign.

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