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SC sets up committee to block uploading of videos of sexual offences

The apex court directed the government, internet majors and other intermediaries to mull over technical ways to block and check sharing of videos of sexual offences on social networking sites.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2017 21:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sexual Videos,Supreme Court,Sexual Offences
The Supreme Court has directed the government and internet majors to mull over ways to check sharing of videos of sexual offences on social networking sites.(REUTERS File)

The Supreme Court constituted on Wednesday a committee comprising representatives from the Union government and internet companies, asking them to explore a technical mechanism to block uploading of sexual offence videos on social networking sites.

A bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit gave the committee members -- which includes nominees of Google India, Microsoft India, Yahoo India, Facebook and other internet intermediaries -- 15 days to meet and find a solution.

It asked the committee to inform the court about the outcome of the meeting on April 20, the next date of hearing.

Before the court gave its directive, officials from the cyber security wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told the bench that internet was a “wild highway” and blocking objectionable content at the source was a technical challenge.

Clear guidelines were needed to stop the circulation of such material, they said.

The officials said 50 countries have set up hotlines to stop child abuse in their jurisdiction, but India has none. They were taking INTERPOL’s assistance to stop child pornography, they informed the court. On receiving a complaint, internet service providers were asked to block the objectionable content.

The proceedings before the court related to a letter-cum-petition filed by Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala, seeking urgent judicial intervention to stop circulation of rape videos on social websites. Prajwala claimed the videos were uploaded by the aggressors themselves.

Taking immediate cognizance of the letter, the top court had ordered the CBI to probe the incidents and apprehend the culprits behind it.

However, it later expanded the scope of the petition and asked the internet intermediaries to explore the possibility of developing a mechanism to stop uploading of the videos.

First Published: Mar 22, 2017 19:03 IST