WhatsApp Inc submitted before the Supreme Court that it would extend all cooperation to the apex court-appointed high level panel, engaged in finding ways to block sexually offensive clips , including rape and gangrape videos on social sites.
Whatsapp which was made a party in the matter by the apex court, told a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that its members would meet the committee set up by the court to explore a technical solution to block such videos.
“We will also be part and parcel of the whole initiative. They (Whatsapp Inc) are sending their people to sit with the committee and explain everything, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, who represented Whatsapp told the bench yesterday.
Sibal also said the engineer and experts of Whatsapp Inc would demonstrate to the committee all the technical aspects, including the encryption technology.
He told the court that the firm's members will meet the committee within two weeks after which the counsel appearing for the parties fixed April 27 for conducting a meeting.
The apex court had on April 11 issued notice to Whatsapp Inc seeking its response in the matter, saying the petitioner may send a detailed e-mail to them to make a presentation, if possible through video conferencing, to assist the committee.
On March 22 the bench headed had constituted a high level committee comprising of Centre’s Information Technology officials who are to coordinate with internet giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Google to remove rape, gang rape and child pornography videos from the internet
The bench had passed the following order: “The committee will assist and advise the court on the feasibility of ensuring that videos of rapes, gangrapes and child pornography are not available to the general public. They just cannot be in public domain It is very clear. Some sort of consensus has to be arrived at to ensure that it shall not be available in the public domain”.
This came on a PIL filed by social activist Sunitha Krishnan, founder of the NGO Prajwala, who has rescued and rehabilitated more than 10,000 rape victims. She had sought such a register given the steep rise in the number of rapes and shockingly videos of such incidents being uploaded on social media.
Krishnan, who received 200 such videos from victims and forwarded them to the SC bench that ordered a CBI probe, told Mail Today: “From most videos, it is clear that this is not the offender’s first rape. The ease with which the men go about the act... while one performs the heinous act, other two hold her legs tight and cover her mouth… while another man films it. In another video, spanning 8.5 minutes, there is a gang rape of a girl by five culprits who are shown smiling, cracking jokes, recording the act and taking photos while they go about sexually assaulting the victim.” , she says.