India bans WeTransfer amid coronavirus lockdown

India bans WeTransfer amid coronavirus lockdown

Popular file transfer website WeTransfer has been banned in India by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), citing national interest and public interest for the ban.

The DoT, in its order on May 18, directed telecom operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ban three website Uniform Resource Locators (URLs), one of which is the WeTransfer website. The other two URLs that have been banned are also specific pages of WeTransfer, reported Mumbai Mirror. It is unknown what these two links contained and why the entire website has been banned.

The ban on WeTransfer comes during the time when several companies and educational institutes are working from home and are using file transfer services to exchange large-sized documents and data during the coronavirus pandemic.

Found in 2009, WeTransfer reportedly has over 50 million users around the world and has seen a surge in its usage, especially during the lockdown in India. The website allows users to send files up to 2GB to the recipient’s email for free without the need to create a separate account. Premium users can send up to 20GB of files and also get 1TB storage space.

Websites are typically banned when they are found promoting illegal practices, encourage pornography or are a threat to national security.

In its reply to several complaints on Twitter, WeTransfer said it had received reports of being partially blocked in India and was investigating the issue to have more details. The website recommends using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) as a temporary workaround to use the service.

Meanwhile, some of the users did manage to access it even without using VPN.