Prevent Uploading Of Rape Videos, Child Porn: Amicus To Centre

Prevent Uploading Of Rape Videos, Child Porn: Amicus To Centre

The amicus curiae in the matter where Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of gangrape videos circulating on the internet has asked the government to take all steps to prevent uploading and dissemination of rape videos, revenge porn, child pornography etc including through revision of intermediary rules.

Amicus Curiae N S Nappinai in her report said intermediaries should be directed to ensure that all illegal content be filtered at the entry point and also develop technologies to assist in such filtration process if it did not exist.

“Initiate suitable legal prosecutions, where applicable against the actual culprits. Ensure awareness amongst internet users on the legality of uploading, forwarding or disseminating illegal content including through social media platforms”, the report directed the government adding that the steps may be initiated in a time-bound manner.

The suggestions also included a direction to all police stations to register complaints of dissemination of rape videos immediately and to ensure removal of such offending content from online sites within 24 hours.

On December 5 last year the Supreme Court had issued notice to internet majors Facebook,Google, Microsoft and Yahoo seeking their view on blocking explicit sexual clips including gang rape videos.

A bench of justice Madan B Lokur and justice U U Lalit had wanted to know their view on how to end rampant circulation of such clips on the internet, if they could block them and immediately report it to the investigating agency.

The bench, which has gone through the affidavits filed by the ministry of home affairs and CBI on the issue is working on orders regarding cracking down the rampant circulation of gang rape videos and before that wanted the “social media and online sites also in the court to ascertain the view as the orders might effect them”.

The court’s order came in a PIL where social activist Sunitha Krishnan of the #ShameTheRapistCampaign fame who received nearly 200 rape videos sent by victims has demanded an agency with a pan-Indian jurisdiction to investigate those and a direction to Centre  to the social media. CBI has already been entrusted with the probe.

The Home Ministry had said in an affidavit that it has initiated steps to set up 150 specialised units to investigate crimes against women.

“In order to tackle cyber crimes comprehensively, MHA has already set up an expert committee to recommend a roadmap for tackling the menace”, it said.

As per the expert committee recommendation, a proposal has been initiated to set up Indian Cyber Crime Co-ordination Centre. But the bench wanted to know what the status of all these plans was now and if anything had been implemented or it was still in the shape of a mere “proposal”.

THE CBI’S STAND

In its affidavit, the CBI urged the Supreme Court that it be given a free hand in investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators.

The agency’s response came in a PIL where social activist Sunitha Krishnan of the #ShameTheRapistCampaign fame who received nearly 200 rape videos sent by victims has demanded an agency with a pan-Indian jurisdiction to investigate those.

“It is imperative in the interest of justice that there is a single central institutional mechanism to address cases relating to video recordings of incidents of sexual violence against women and children circulated through the internet. The CBI is prepared to take up the requisite responsibility”, said an affidavit filed by the CBI. The court will take a stand on the affidavit next Monday.

“Virtually seamless cross-jurisdictional character of internet has raised a real challenge to law enforcement agencies. Apart from anti-corruption crimes CBI can also take up specialized crimes having all India or inter-state ramifications or of particular importance from the social point of view. The CBI is the only central law enforcement agency that can investigate and prosecute any heinous crime anywhere in the country”, it said.

Read the order here.


This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.