Child porn: Kerala intensifies crackdown on mobile app groups

Child porn: Kerala intensifies crackdown on mobile app groups

The Kerala Police Cyberdome, the cyber security wing of the state police, is collecting details regarding members of groups formed through mobile apps to circulate videos and images of child pornography.

A Cyberdome operation named Operation P-Hunt-17.1 has traced the presence of many child pornographic groups formed with mobile apps, including Telegram, that provide strong encryption, secret chat options and identities without linking them to mobile phone numbers. Last week, the operation had led to the arrest of Sharaf Ali (25), the administrator of many Telegram groups that circulated child pornographic content, in Malappuram.

Manoj Abraham, Inspector General of Police and Cyberdome Nodal Officer, said investigators identified many such groups on Telegram, some of them with thousands of members, operated from and outside India. Sharaf Ali is learnt to have been operating 37 such groups. Together, the groups had more than 15,000 users. A task force formed under the Malappuram SP had arrested the culprit and collected digital evidence on the groups.

The IGP said Cyberdome was monitoring all groups and channels that share and circulate child pornography on social media. He said the arrest of the administrator and progress made in the crackdown had led to a "false campaign" where members of the groups claimed that they had joined the groups only to monitor activity in these channels. "This is being done to escape the legal action which will be taken against them," he said in a statement.

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