Dirty browsers

Some browsers offer data compression features. But to achieve this, they actually send compressed data to their own proxy servers.

This brings following two risks for you:

  1. This has high risk of server recording user data, during your session.
  2. Another risk is that these browser bypass DNS filtering, exposing young under-18 users to adult content or porn sites.

Some popular browser, which show these risky behaviour are :

  1. UC Mini
  2. UC browsers
  3. Opera mini

Users are advised to remove these browsers for safety.

Porn in India

Let me share facts which came in direct observation or as narrated to me by people firsthand:

  1. Kids as young as 11 year old were found watching porn at home in privacy (2013). These were students and they used to exchanging list of porn flavours BDSM etc with classmates. They were sort of competing, ‘who has seen how many’.
  2. Boys of small towns (C-grade cities) disclosed first exposure to porn, at age of 13-14 yrs. Events reported from year 2012-13.
  3. In college, 18 year of age boys disclosed watching rape videos. On being asked whether they were foreign or Indian, viewer replied ‘Indian girls’. This was a recollection and narration. Actual viewing reported from 2011-12.
  4. Porn is serving as sex education (or mis-education) for most teenagers.
  5. Porn images, video clips circulation on whatsapp is rampant. This includes gang-rape videos. Prajwala NGO has filed PIL in SC in Feb-2015. Govt doesn’t do any corrective action and case has dragged for 2.5 years now without any action.
  6. A total of 1.2 lakh Indians, were found with paid account on website AshleyMadison.com “Life is short have an affair”. Website offers secrecy for extramarital affairs. This data got revealed when hackers published user list in 2015. This included people from these cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore etc.

Google weblight bypasses filter

Filternet parental control app uses DNS filtering to block adult websites. But Google weblight services in India integrated with default browser Chrome, may bypass it on slow networks.

This happens on Airtel, Vodafone, Jio etc networks. Your phone switches from 2G/3G/4G anytime, all the time. On Jio it doesn’t show this speed change, but internet speed keeps changing.

When speed falls to 2G, Google automatically sends user to weblight proxy servers. This bypasses our DNS filter and exposes under-18 users to adult content and other harmful content.

It leaves us with a very tough decision – to block Google Weblight server itself or risk porn exposure of kids.

This problem is specific to Chrome browser. Its observed in Brazil, Indonesia and India only.

We recommend a non-profit browser Mozilla Firefox for these country users for complete safety.

Updates on SC PIL for action against circulation of rape videos in India

Prajwala – an NGO working for saving human trafficking victims, went to SC with 90 rape videos, on a pendrive.

Chief justice took suo moto cognisance and admitted a PIL (diary number 6818, year 2015) for taking action videos of sexual violence in India.

Resulted in setting up of Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children website for registering complaints of citizens.

Read the committee outcome PDF of last hearing 23-Oct-2017.

SC is sincere, but after many hearings and close monitoring by SC, no action.

Criminals are roaming freely.
Victims are lonely, viewed online everyday, shamed by society. Waiting for justice …

Revenue from app : moving to {free+ads} or premium

Filternet app has completed 20 months on Android Play Store.

We tried many techniques, videos, price changes($5 to $20) but the retention stays poor.

Users remove the app, once they see a 7-day FREE trial ending in choice for purchase. Many users have asked over phone, ‘free nahin hai’ ( Isn’t it free? )

Now I have 63,469 installs and 61,333 removals. Net users 2,136 only.

From an article by Malcolm Gladwell, in New Yorker

“From the consumer’s perspective, there is a huge difference between cheap and free,” Anderson writes. “Give a product away, and it can go viral. Charge a single cent for it and you’re in an entirely different business. . . . The truth is that zero is one market and any other price is another.”

Filternet app will go freemium way

  • Basic feature FREE with in-app Ads
  • Users can upgrade to premium version. Premium version won’t show ads, unlock some advanced features and offer technical support.

[Will keep you posted]

Filternet Foundation : 1st day

Filternet Foundation is registered on 4th-October of 2017, as section-8 Pvt Ltd company. CIN: U72900UP2017NPL097517

What it can do for you?

Helpline +91-7570000787

Anyone can report

  • child porn
  • rape porn videos
  • revenge porn (blackmail or revenge using nude picture or intimate video)

Our team maintains a database of such sites. We try our level best to block them across India with help of Govt agencies.

What it means for filternet mobile app?

Filternet mobile app will get transferred to the foundation from Karpa IT Solutions LLP in future.

Filternet mobile apps will add more features of cyber security for home users.

How we plan to run the NGO?

  1. We intend to support operational costs with services that we provide.
  2. We accept donations from Indian citizens through Paytm on 7570000787

My 13 days in Blue Whale suicide challenge

 Blue Whale suicide challenge – Myths busted
Most observable symptoms – waking up at 4.20 am, going out early morning, 5 cuts on forehand, Blue Whale drawn on hand using blade, spotted on building rooftop or near train track.
Myth 1 – It seeks people in depression or lonely
Truth – Kids are curious and seek it themselves. They hunt for it for hours and days before finding it. Kids imagine it to be like ‘truth or dare’ challenge or similar.
Myth 2 – They play it under threat of killing
Truth – They start out of fun. It slowly grips them. Threat of killing player or family comes during play. Threat comes when player is not completing tasks. Threats are not perceived so ‘real’ by some players, but may add up to total effect. It makes up nice excuse when caught.
Myth 3 – It is a game that you download
Truth – It’s not a game that can be downloaded. It is played online through email or similar communication platform.
Myth 4 – Game can’t be stopped
Truth – The player can leave the game anytime.
Admin can be traced through email/IP address and caught for threatening and inciting for suicide. In every message, challenger insists player to delete message. Once group of challengers is behind bars, the game will stop.
[Read a true account of Blue Whale suicide challenge survivor]

It didn’t find me. I searched for it.

How I came to know about it?

I saw a youtube videos about Blue Whale suicide challenge. Gaurav Chaudhary warned in the end not to play it. But at my age 16, no warning is enough.

I saw News24 tv news channel, describing how it has killed 200 across world and few in India.

Till date, I played – Angrybirds, San Andreas, Temple run, etc.

Now I wanted to play Blue Whale.

How I searched?

On facebook, query revealed few groups, but they turned out boring. I continued in list and found few persons.

After many rounds of search and disappointment, finally I met Pritam and Avnish online. They both gave me links to the game. I tried both the links.

What I found ?

The website flashed “Welcome to Blue Whale”, had a particular striking blue-colored Whale. It had facebook and Google login buttons for signup.

I went ahead with facebook login, but it just shown a tick-mark and stayed on the same page. I went onto click Google signup and said Yes to whatever popped up.

Page changed and shown a Agree notice and button. Hah, who cares. Click just vanished the page and I had nothing to see.

Day 1

3.45 pm – Back from school I had some time to check emails on my 8-month old Android smartphone with cheap 4G network (you can guess which one).

I received Welcome email from a strange email address in foreign language, matching English, but with few strange characters.

It announced that my 1st challenge would come next day.

It ended with instruction to delete the email.

I didn’t care about deleting email and left off for tuition classes.

Day 2

Next email told me that I haven’t deleted Welcome email and I won’t receive my first challenge till I deleted last email and this one.

I was surprised how the sender came to know, but eager to play, I deleted it.

Day 3

My 2st challenge – F47 on a whiteboard pic, telling me to draw on my own hand with blade.

I am smart and like to fool. I just bought a red color sketch-pen and wrote F47.

Clicked pic and replied to the email.

Day 4

Wow, it really fooled the game admin. I got new challenge.

Cut your lips. Haha I again used red sketch-pen and made a mark on lips.

Click and send.

Day 5

Wow, next challenge – wake up at 4.20 am.

I didn’t, just lied. I replied ‘I completed todays task’

Day 6

I started waking up at 4.20 am. The game was getting a grip on me.

Day 7/8

Wake up at 4.20 am and watch horror movie. The clip was 33 seconds long and shown a blue whale swimming, turning to me and then crying. The tears were of blood. Music was strange and I didn’t like it.

My mother noticed heavy sweating during the day. No, it wasn’t the heat and sunlight. Others around me were normal, only my perspiration was heavy. I returned home.

Day 9

I got a snapchat group link. I installed snapchat on my smartphone for the first time. Inside the group there were 15-16 people, boys and girls included. Indian names attracted me and we chatted happily.

Sapna was on F47 level behind me. Neha was at 14, ahead of me, she had carved a beautiful Blue Whale on her hand.

Everyone shared their levels and commented ‘cute’ etc.

I too happily shared my level.

One by one, they left the chat. I was the last to leave the group.

Day 10

Cut hand 5 times, lightly, with razor-blade. Now I was serious.  Such blades are not found in home. I purchased one for 2/- from local shop. In a field, all by myself, I cut five times. I clicked and sent the reply.

The game was getting grip on me and I didn’t fake anymore.

Day 11

“Well done” said the next email. I was challenged to visit a highrise building or bridge.

I choose a river bridge near my home. It is high and few people go there as early as 4.20 am. I stood on a risky spot for 15 minutes.

Day 12

I woke up 4.20 am. Early morning I get challenge to draw Blue Whale with razor blade, lightly. I purchase another blade from local shop, hide it in back cover of basic phone. I am not allowed by family to take smartphone to school.

After three classes, I got a break. In my school toilet, alone, I carved a Whale on left hand. Take a pic from friends phone and WhatsApp it to my own number. I deleted the pic from friends phone.

Back to class, friends noticed fresh blood. I wrap my hanky (handkerchief) on it and unfold shirt to cover it. But murmurs spread around of fish मछली on my hand.

Back to home, the touch wasn’t working on my 8-month old, cheap Chinese phone. I couldn’t send the pic, silly touchscreen won’t work.

Day 13

I received a threat that my father would be killed, I had to complete the challenge.

In my absence, school noticed. Caring teachers took notice of classmates.

By evening school teachers reached my house and talked to my parents.

Game end !

My phone was taken by my parents.

After few hours police officers started visiting me. My email and password were noted and investigation began.


I am taking rest, mother is horrified and often in tears. She is happy that I am alive, her only son.

About me

I am 16 years old, student of 11th class, average grades

My mother is a homemaker. Lower middle class family.

Saidpur, District – Gazipur, East UP, India

As narrated to Vikas Chandra and Suresh Shukla on 18-Sep-2017

Porn sites : closer look and what to ban

1. Tool in hand of perpetrator

Porn sites can be broadly classified into two category:

1. Professional and respectable content – by this I mean movies and pics which are shot in studios, professional photographers and most importantly consent of actress/actor.

An easy to understand and judge criteria for this, is expressed by Erica Lust “the sex can stay dirty but the values have to be clean.”

2. User uploaded porn content – this can be done by anyone with and without the consent of actress/actor. This includes hidden cameras, revenge porn etc.

In context of Indian society and a special angle of quick defamation, particularly of female is well-known. This makes second category dangerous to whole society.

Add to it weak cyber-policing.

User uploaded content is today a tool in hands of rapists and revenge seekers. Once it is uploaded, the lady / girl or even minor is defamed for whole life. Whole family is judged, character-assassination, taunts, prospects of marriage of any sibling is also affected ….

list is endless.

Two specific cases I came across closely:

1. Gang-rape recording and upload

I have come across one video where girl is gang-raped in outdoor amidst trees. Perpetrators take turn one after another. Mobile camera keeps recording focussed on the girls face, clearly hiding culprits face. Girls attempts to cover her face are met with force. She cried through 9 minutes of video.

With threat of upload and circulation to locality:

– Would she ever have courage to face her family.

– Would her family have enough courage to lodge police complaint, which asks all awkward questions, keep waiting for hours.

– Would the family have enough courage to go through court procedures which go on for years.

It takes few minutes to upload the video and defame her into silence.

2. Revenge porn

In the light of revenge porn case brought to notice of Honourable Supreme Court on July 8th – the victim’s videos shot during marriage were uploaded after divorce by ex-husband. Videos are getting circulated over 24 sites (tracked and known) and links sent to family, friends and colleagues.

Victim has written complaints in three police stations, police cyber-cell and is running pillar to post for last 2 years. The video clips keep circulating and now on WhatsApp.

2. Sex education or degradation

Next important categorisation is based on access-control

1. Sites which give very little material as promo and keep things behind a username/password mobile verification etc. These may additionally include credit card entry for purchase or simply authentication of age. This would restrict susceptible age groups from access to explicit material.

2. Site with or without ENTER / LEAVE buttons – kids as young as eleven are found watching these out of curiosity. Mostly stumble upon them, sometimes passed from seniors to junior in school/neighbourhood.

Most of porn sites belong to second category and serve all details and varieties to any viewer without any regard to age.

In Indian culture and law (sixteen and below are minors) and very few parents would want their children to access these sites.

Response of viewers of various age groups varies significantly.

<= 16 are strongly impressionable

16 till 21 are impressionable

22 and older are also susceptible but to lesser extent.

3. Porn causes rape

Diana Russell has handled this topic very well and some points are very clear from her articles. Objectification of women is prominent in the content. This requires careful review of what content should be served to viewers.

A lot of sites offer rape videos. This is repulsive and a definite NO NO for minors as well as majors.

4. Context / storyline

Often the content revolves around sex without relation, romance. Not exactly “love-making”.


While debates can go on on and on, some actions are immediate.

Newspapers are reporting daily – minors raped, women gang-raped.

This is alarming and calls for immediate action.

Responsibility of expression has to be understood together with freedom.

It may be wise to block porn sites as whole and then permit only limited few which pass Indian society voting.



Brajesh Rajak book on porn laws

Approach to block adult content

PIL in SC porn ban petition – Diary 5917, year 2013

An approach for mass level filtering is described below with India as an example:

How internet enters India?

Cable Landing Stations

Where to place this filter?

Ideally at the Cable Landing Stations. This is gateway and filtering here protects all citizens.

How the filter works?

Copy of affidavit filed in PIL on December 16, 2014 is here (PDF).

What is ready to use?

Brain scanner is ready and polished. Database of 2,00,000 sites is ready and growing.

DNS filter integrated with scanner is ready.

High-capacity firewalls are available from various OEMs.