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Tuesday, March 09, 2021

No mechanism to stop uploading of obscene contents: Government to SC

The court was hearing a letter sent to then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala, along with two rape videos in a pen-drive.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: February 28, 2017 10:33:41 am

The government Monday raised its hands before the Supreme Court and conceded that as of now there is “no mechanism” to prevent uploading of obscene contents like videos of sexual violence on websites, before these are uploaded. The submission came before a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit which asked “what is the stand of the government”, after internet service provider Google said there cannot be a “reasonable prevention” before such contents are uploaded on websites. “Today, there is no mechanism to prevent it before it is uploaded on the websites,” the lawyer appearing for the Centre said, prompting the bench to ask, “why is there no such mechanism?” Responding to the query, the government said, “somebody has to tell us about it (uploading of such contents). There are preventive mechanisms.”

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During the hearing, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing Google India, said it was almost impossible to trace a person before he uploads such contents on websites. He, however, said if someone was a habitual offender and was uploading such contents repeatedly, Google can take action on it.

Singhvi said this while responding to a query by the bench, “How to prevent it (such contents) from being uploaded?” Referring to the Centre’s affidavit in the matter, the bench, which posted the matter for arguments on March 3, said the measures stated by the government “seems to be post facto”.

The government had earlier informed the apex court that it will set up a specialised nodal agency to block and curb sharing of sexual offence videos on social networking sites. The apex court had earlier sought response from internet majors Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook on a plea seeking curbs on sharing of sexual offence videos on social networking sites and steps to check cyber crimes.

The court was hearing a letter sent to then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala, along with two rape videos in a pen-drive. It had taken suo motu note of the letter on the posting of these videos on WhatsApp and asked CBI to launch a probe forthwith to nab the culprits.

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