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Home Ministry to tech giants: Check abuse of women, kids on social media

The Home Ministry office at North Block in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has approached U.S.-based search engine Google for sharing its Application Programming Interface (API) for identifying child sexual abuse material on social media platforms.

The MHA is also in talks with Microsoft to commercially acquire PhotoDNA, a tool that aids in finding and removing known images of child exploitation, according to technology giant’s website.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the MHA said that as many as 26 First Information Reports were registered based on complaints against child pornography and sexual harassment faced by women received on www.cybercrime.gov.in.

Over 2 lakh people have visited the website since the portal was launched on September 20 to receive complaints from citizens on objectionable online content related to child pornography, child sexual abuse material, and sexually explicit material such as rape and gang rape.

The MHA said that it has sent a draft agreement to U.S.-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to access its “cyber tipline reports regarding missing and exploited children.”

The MHA also told the court that it has compiled keywords to identify objectionable content in the English, Hindi, Bengali and Kannada languages, and has shared the same with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook..

The official also said that the time limit given to social media platforms to take down such content after a request has been sent by law enforcement agencies has been reduced from 72 to 36 hours.

On the directions of the apex court, the MHA will also send detailed guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to eliminate child pornography, rape and gang rape imageries, videos and sites on content hosting platforms and other applications.

“The government of India may frame the necessary guidelines/SoPs and implement them within two weeks so as to eliminate child pornography, rape and gang rape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications,” the SC said in its December 11 order. The case will come up for hearing in February 2019.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 8:04:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/home-ministry-to-tech-giants-check-abuse-of-women-kids-on-social-media/article25735964.ece

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