Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, attorney general KK Venugopal contended that the Centre had conducted many brain-storming sessions with scientists, information techonology experts, internet and social media companies but the solution of the problem remained elusive.
The government said that it did not have technological know-how to block the online game, saying “it is believed that Blue Whale game was being communicated by one-to-one communication through encrypted/ secretive communication links”. Hence it is difficult to identify, intercept and analyze the contents.”
“Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) approached leading academic, R&D institutions, cyber security organisations like Indrapastha Institute of Information Technology, CDAC, Amrita University , Indian Computer Emergency Response Team(CRET-In), Data Security Council of India(DSCI) etc to find out as to how children are accessing this game and what is the source of information. Base on their responses, MeitY was not able to find any absolute information about the source of information and the availability of the game on internet/ social media,” the government said in its affidavit.
The Centre filed its response in compliance of SC order directing it to disclose actions taken by it to quell the spread of deadly game in the country. The bench had passed the order on a plea filed by advocate Sneha Kalita seeking direction to government to ban the game. The petitioner told the court that there was need to immediate ban and make awareness about Blue Whale game amongst the people specially, youngsters and at least 200 people had committed suicide after playing the online game.
It said that the Centre had held discussion with Facebook, Google and other companies but they also expressed their inability to block the game. “Specific information like website address/Internet Protocol Address/RL details are required to block/remove the content/Apps on Internet. In the Blue Whale game there is no formal application, website or URL. Hence it is very little scope for using technical solutions to identify or bloc the game. It is submitted that keyword based filtering would affect the other genuine information linked with such word,” it said.
As the Centre expressed inability to block the game, the Supreme Court said there was very little it could do in the case and disposed of the petition. It, however, directed chief secretaries of all states to spread awareness among students about the game to prevent them from playing the deadly game.
The Centre also said that it had decided to pursue the policy of “prevention is better than cure” and issued circular to all schools regarding safe use of internet in educational institutions to prevent students from getting enticed to play the game. The governemnt has also suggested Facebook to take proactive steps to identify those users who are depressed and seek to play Blue Whale game and alerts local police.
Source : timesofindia