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SC asks social networking sites to give number of complaints on objectionable videos

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court directed Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, Microsoft and Yahoo on Monday to respond on how many complaints they received in the last two years for allowing obscene materials like child pornography and rape videos to be circulated through their platforms and action taken by them.

A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit also directed the Centre to give details of cases registered by government authorities against people for circulating sexually exploitative videos of child including pornographic or making obscene representation of a child or children under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences(POCSO) Act. It granted 10 days for Centre and Social Networking Sites to file the report.

The Court passed the order in a case in which it had taken suo motu cognisance on the basis of a letter written to Chief Justice of India by a Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala, bringing to notice the rape videos being widely circulated on WhatsAap. It had directed the CBI to probe in to the cases and to catch hold of culprits committing rapes and sharing the video through the Social Networking site.

As the Centre and internet giants had expressed its inability to evolve mechanism to stop uploading of offending videos of rape and child pornography, the apex court had earlier directed top technocrats Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft to come to India and participate in brain storming meeting for 15 days to find out solution to deal with the problem. The committee

A confidential report has been filed in the apex court after deliberations took place among government officers and representative of companies. The bench is not examining whether the report should be made public which has been opposed by companies.

The bench directed the lawyers, representing the five social Networking Sites, to take instruction from the companies on making the report public. It said that there was nothing in the proposal and recommendation made in the report which could not be made public.

The companies, however, told the bench that the report talked about the technology on how to block such offending materials and if it was made public then hackers and wrongdoers would also come to know about the process and they would misuse it to frustrate the mechanism.

Advocate Aparna Bhatt, appearing for the NGO, contended that the companies were not willing to take steps to curb the menace of child pornography. She said that only one company had talked about technology aspect in the deliberation and their apprehension was baseless.

Source : timesofindia

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SC asks social networking sites to give number of complaints on objectionable videos


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