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Crackdown on child porn, rape videos with ISP norms, portal

The Home Ministry has also sanctioned Rs 80 crore for setting up forensic labs in all states and Union Territories for Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Child (CCPWC).

Written by Rahul Tripathi | New Delhi |
Updated: December 16, 2017 4:13:03 am
Crackdown on child porn, rape videos with ISP norms, portal Representational image

The Union Home Ministry is set to issue guidelines for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and set up an online portal by next month for centralised reporting of complaints against child pornography and rape videos.

The move follows directions from the Supreme Court on setting up such a portal by January 10. The apex court’s order came on a plea by NGO Prajwala highlighting the availability of child porn and rape videos online and seeking preventive measures. The Home Ministry is also expected to write to DGPs/IGs of all states and Union Territories, directing them to ensure reporting of such videos on social media or other online platforms.

“We will also generate a hash value (a code) of all such videos and child sexual abuse material and share it with the content service provider, which will be used to identify such videos online. A list of 500 keywords used in searching for such videos has also been compiled and will be shared with the ISPs, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, WhatsApp and Microsoft,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

The Home Ministry has also sanctioned Rs 80 crore for setting up forensic labs in all states and Union Territories for Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Child (CCPWC).

A meeting with representatives of states and UTs was also held in Delhi early this week when police officers were sensitised to the issue.
The states urged the Centre to bring amendments to the Information Technology Act, 2000 and authorise a sub-inspector (SI)-level officer to investigate such cases. At present, only an inspector-level officer can investigate IT-related offences.

Earlier, a committee headed by then additional secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ajay Kumar, and comprising representatives of social media platforms and ISPs had said the government must ensure that “Search Engines other than those already implementing URL blocks for identified child porn/rape and gang rape content… initiate similar processes”. In a report, it said that “Internet companies should consider providing support to Indian NGOs to help bring awareness”.

“WhatsApp should make further improvement in their reporting process which would enable easier reporting of contents in the app while maintaining the integrity of the contents and metadata available on phone at the time of reporting,” the report said.

Content hosting platforms, social media platforms and search engines, it said, should provide links for reporting child porn and rape imagery as a specific category, which must be more prominently displayed on their pages.

The solution, the committee said, lay in “proactively identifying rogue sites by an independent agency which can identify sites that contains child porn and rape and gang rape content and blocking these sites.” It said that “to prevent the circulation of subject imagery, the government can block any additional sites/applications if they do not remove such contents of their own.”

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