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Crack down on child porn, rape videos: Govt to tech giants like Google, FB

The move comes after the government blocked a number of websites that hosted such content, particularly child pornography

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

rape cases in India
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The government wants internet giants to take a "more proactive" approach in dealing with and content related to rape, with a particular focus on internet keywords in vernacular Indian languages related to such content, according to reports. The Times of India reported on Thursday that the government, which wants to take "serious action" in the matter, has ordered internet and social media companies like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo, Microsoft, and WhatsApp to crack down on the sharing of content related to child pornography, rape and gang-rape. Further, according to sources cited by the report, the focus will be on vernacular languages while checking and curbing such content, with many Indian languages coming under the scanner. A source told the daily that the government was not happy with the 'reporting' system being followed by such companies currently. The source said that this approach, where action is taken after such content is reported and verified, is viewed to be "reactive" by the government. "We want them to accelerate research on this so that in future, it can be detected instantly and can be prevented at the time of first instance of uploading," the unnamed source told the daily. According to the report, a number of measures were formulated by a high-level committee, which included IT and Home Ministry officials and representatives from Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and WhatsApp. One such measure, according to the daily, is the expansion of the list of key-words for such objectionable content.

Further, the aforementioned source told the paper that it has also been agreed that a key-word directory should be created for rape and gang-rape related content, including such key-words in vernacular languages. The move comes after the government blocked a number of websites that hosted such content, particularly In July this year, the Centre told the Supreme Court that it was taking steps to deal with the issue of in its entirety and around 3,500 websites hosting such content had been blocked in June. According to agency reports, the government told a three-judge Bench that it had asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to consider installation of jammers in schools to block access to child pornographic content. Back then, the government had told the apex court that it would file a status report on the steps taken by it to curb Further, in December last year, the Supreme Court had sought responses from three internet search engines and social networking site on a plea that sought curbs on sharing of videos related to sexual offences and cybercrime. According to agency reports, the apex court's Bench had sought responses from India, India, Corporation (India) Ltd, and by January 9, 2017, on NGO Prajwala's plea seeking a defined place where one could report such and seek their blocking. The court's notices for response came during the course of the hearing of a letter by Hyderabad-based non-governmental organisation Prajwala along with two Two videos submitted in a pen drive showed a man raping a woman and another man filming it. The NGO's lawyer Aparna Bhat said videos of sexual offences were being shot and posted online, and pleaded for court directions to take steps to curb cybercrime.

First Published: Thu, November 23 2017. 12:00 IST
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