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Urgent need to ban porn websites: CJI

Chief Justice of India (CJI) K.G. Balakrishnan Sunday said there was an urgent need to ban websites that circulate pornography and hate speeches and emphasized the need for cyber law enforcement.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 31, 2010 04:38 PM IST

Chief Justice of India (CJI) K.G. Balakrishnan Sunday said there was an urgent need to ban websites that circulate pornography and hate speeches and emphasized the need for cyber law enforcement.

"The government can place bans on websites that exclusively circulate pornography and hate speeches. However, it would not be right to place a blanket ban on all categories of websites. It is also important to distinguish between intermediaries such as Network Service Providers, website operators and individual users for the purpose of placing liability for wrongful acts," the chief justice said.

"Websites are created and updated for many useful purposes, but they can also be used to circulate offensive content such as pornography, hate speech and defamatory materials. In many cases, the intellectual property rights of authors and artists are violated through the unauthorized circulation of their works.

"There has also been an upsurge in instances of financial fraud and cheating in relation to commercial transactions conducted online," the CJI emphasized at a Cyber Law Enforcement Programme and National Consultation meeting here.

Citing how more and more people are victimized because of increasing cyber crimes, the CJI said:, "There have been numerous reports of internet users receiving unsolicited e-mails which often contains obscene language and amounts to harassment. Those who post personal information about themselves on job and marriage websites or social networking websites are often at the receiving end of ?cyber-stalking'. Women and minors who post their contact details become especially vulnerable since lumpen elements such as sex-offenders can use this information to target potential victims."

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Law and Justice M. Veerappa Moily said: "Cyber law enforcement is the need of the hour as the use of technology is increasing by leaps and bounds. We are able to optimize the use of Information Technology (IT) industry only when our cyber law is strictly enforced."

Highlighting how misuse of technology can lead to personal attacks on the individual, Moily said: "In many cases, images or videos are created without the consent of the persons involved and they are unscrupulously circulated for commercial gain. Such practices are a blatant invasion of privacy as well as an attack on an individual's dignity. However, there are inherent difficulties in using criminal laws to clamp down on them, so there is need of cyber law enforcement."

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