SC asks ISPs how to check sexual violence videos

SC asks ISPs how to check sexual violence videos
The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought to know from Internet service providers and search engines if they can prevent uploading of sexual violence videos.

“If they (service providers) can detect such material in one domain after uploading, the question is if they can create a hash and do it before uploading,” a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit asked senior advocate Abhishek M Singhvi, appearing for Google India.

The court wanted to know about its internal mechanism or “in-house procedure” to identify such obscene content posted on websites and also about “how much can they do to prevent it”.

The court was hearing a 2015 suo motu writ petition started on a letter to then Chief Justice of India H L Dattu by Hyderbad-based NGO Prajwala.

In his response, Singhvi maintained that the company was unconditionally willing to cooperate on these issues and it should be informed about any such material posted on websites so that it can act.

He said it was not possible to detect such material until reported to the company, nor  is there any legal obligation on it.

He said information about such material should come to them from the government or an adjudicating authority,  which could be a kind of filter.

They would get such content deleted or withdrawn within 36 hours of receipt of information. Advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing as amicus curiae, said there should be a mechanism in place to ensure that no such videos or material are uploaded on the Internet.

She also referred to the recent incident in Kerala where an actress was molested and abused inside her car and the act was purportedly recorded on a mobile phone.

The amicus also argued that Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, dealt with the issue of child pornography but the penal law was not sufficient to deal with the issue at hand.

She urged the court to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is already investigating uploading of rape videos, to take up other cases.
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