The Supreme Court of India has reportedly directed the Centre to set up a cell under the CBI or the Ministry of Home Affairs to tackle the growing menace of child pornography, rape, or other such abusive content on the internet.
Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit asked the Centre to implement the proposals given by the high-powered committee on October 23. The Committee has put forth proposals, of which, 11 have been agreed upon. The proceedings were being discussed along with representatives from Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and WhatsApp.
Some of the Committee’s recommendations on curbing child pornography on the web are noteworthy and require search engines to expand their list of keywords which may possibly bring out results for the abusive content, India Legal reports.
Given that the court is specifically bringing down the number of searches coming from India, the keyword list should also be expanded to Indian languages and vernacular search. ALSO READ: Porn consumption in India rises by 75% as mobile data rates drop: Report
One of the recommendations also asks the government to form regulations for reporting of identified child pornography or rape/gang rape imagery online. Additionally, there is a requirement of a user authentication system, under which if someone attempts to upload an image or video belonging to the category of child or sexual abuse, adequate keywords and a rigorous verification process gives out an idea that the uploader is being traced for the activity.
Lastly, the government is required to submit a status report on the implementation of these recommendations before the next date of hearing on December 11.
Internet being a free space for everyone to put out every kind of information has its own dark side where malicious activities such as circulation of sexual abuse content and child pornography breeds. Cyber-security officials once told the bench that the internet was a ‘wild highway’ and blocking objectionable content at the source was a technical challenge for which clear guidelines need to be issued to stop the circulation of such material. ALSO READ: Internet majors objecting to panel recommendations on blocking sexual videos strange: SC
To put an end to the issue, Prajwala, an NGO working against child and women trafficking, had written a letter back in 2015 regarding abundant circulation of sexual violence videos, which prompted the court to set up a committee. Both Facebook and WhatsApp, which boast billions of users in India, are participants in the case to help curb child pornography.