National

Can you stop upload of obscene content online, SC asks ISPs

A view of the Supreme Court of India.

A view of the Supreme Court of India.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Bench cites loss of reputation, dignity

Noting that it wants “prevention and not cure”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Internet service providers if there was any mechanism to identify those who upload obscene content online and prevent it.

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit referred to the loss of reputation and dignity of women and children who became victims of sexually abusive videos uploaded on websites.

Sajan Poovayya, counsel for Google, said content was catalogued and objectionable ones were deleted when spotted. The lawyer said the inflow of information online was huge, and it was near impossible to filter and block content before they were uploaded. He submitted that the government’s nodal agency could help Internet service providers.

The court referred to the Information Technology Act, and asked how the service providers abided by the guidelines to regulate Web content.

The court observed that the time lapsed to remove objectionable videos or material led to loss of reputation and dignity of the victims. “Will it or will it not be conducive to prevent the uploading of such contents,” the court asked.

It also said that if the identity of the persons, who upload such contents, was verified, then a case of “misrepresentation” could be initiated in case of uploading such videos.

The court will hold further hearing in the case on Wednesday.

“We already have mechanisms in place that allow users and authorities to report contents including videos that depict sexual violence against women and children and have them removed expeditiously. We also work closely with law enforcement agencies, as per due process of law, to identify the perpetrators,” Google said in a statement.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 1:43:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/can-you-stop-obscene-uploads-sc-asks-isps/article17342777.ece

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