National

HC notice to Facebook on plea seeking removal of pictures from porn sites

Image for representation purpose only.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to Facebook Inc., which owns photo and video sharing social networking platform Instagram, on a petition seeking removal of pictures of a college student from porn sites which were lifted from Instagram.

A Bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also ordered the Delhi police’s Cyber Prevention Awareness and Detection Unit (CyPAD) to submit a status report on the investigation.

The order came on a petition of the student currently studying in a college in Bengaluru complaining that her pictures that she posted on the social media platforms ‘Instagram’ and ‘Facebook’ have mischievously and illegally been lifted and placed on a pornographic website, along with derogatory captions.

Advocate Sarthak Maggon, appearing for the victim, said this was causing his client “deep distress, anguish and embarrassment.”

Delhi government’s senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra said the complaint had been transferred to the CyPAD. Mr. Mehra said immediate steps were taken to first take down the petitioner’s photographs uploaded onto the errant website.

Counsel said notices under Section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000, were sent to all 21 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), they being the intermediaries that act as entry points for India, to block the offending content.

He, however, stated that upon follow-up, it was found that while the content had been removed from the offending website, it had also been re-directed to other websites and platforms.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, CyPAD, Anyesh Roy, who joined the court hearing through video-conferencing, said there were other students in the college whose personal content had also been illegally re-posted, and investigation was also going on in Bengaluru.

Hash value

Mr. Roy underscored the ‘technological impediment’ in completely effacing offending content from the world-wide web, as it is easy to change the ‘hash value’ that is the ‘identifying elements’ of any content, when it is forwarded or moved from one platform to another.

This makes it impossible for an algorithm to identify and remove offending content from all places. However, Mr. Roy assured the court that efforts to remove the offending content relating to the petitioner, as and where it surfaces, would go on.

“Considering the nature of the matter and the fact that episodes such as these are affecting increasing number of unsuspecting and innocent Internet users,” the Bench appointed Pavan Duggal, who specialises in cyberlaw and cybercrime, as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 1, 2020 10:43:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/hc-notice-to-facebook-on-plea-seeking-removal-of-pictures-from-porn-sites/article32262213.ece

Next Story