The Rajyasabha MPs who are visiting Chennai and Bangalore are collecting views about whether ITA 2000 should be amended to fight Cyber Pornography.
Naavi.org has been fighting for action to eliminate Cyber Pornography for over a decade and has discussed what needs to be done in this regard.
To refresh the minds of those who are concerned with the problem, I draw their attention to the following articles:
After the introduction of ITA 2008, Section 67B has stringent provisions that can be used to control Cyber Pornography. In fact Section 67B is so stringent that it is considered as amenable for misuse by Police.
Under these circumstances, it is our considered opinion that it is not necessary to amend ITA 2008 to control Cyber Pornography. Even if more stringent changes are made to the law, it will not make any difference and will only increase the possibility of abuse.
If there was a will to control Cyber pornography, by this time we could have done it. But the industry is completely against the idea since banning pornography will reduce internet traffic and also eliminate an important channel of virus distribution. The criminals and the greedy businessmen are therefore lobbying against elimination of Cyber Pornography.
Recently there was a new search engine created by some technologists to provide for “Anonymous Pornographic content Search”.
However, so far there is no news of the Government taking any steps to prosecute these persons for promoting a service to break Indian law.
Section 79 of ITA 2008 along with the rules notified in April 2011 has specific “Due Diligence Mandate” which includes steps to prevent posting of any obscene content on websites. This law is more than sufficient to fight Cyber Pornography if we have the will.
After the recent crimes in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore where sex related offences have been committed with unbelievable atrocities and strange circumstances, it can be said without doubt that youngsters are being corrupted with cyber pornographic content that makes them behave like animals at times.
There is therefore an immediate need to take suitable steps to ensure that the Indian Cyber Space is cleared of this filth called pornography.
Naavi welcomes the initiative of the standing committee under the chairmanship of Sri Bhagat Singh Koshyari in trying to find a solution to this menace.
During their meetings, the MPs will find many technology specialists discouraging them and saying that we cannot block pornographic content since they will resurface in a different name. This is an excuse that the pornography supporters present to prevent action from the Government. It is necessary for us to remember that today around 74000 viruses are appearing each day and the industry is fighting it constantly. The total population of viruses and malware in the world could well be running into more than 21 million. Perhaps the war against virus would never be won completely but the menace is kept in check with some minimal investment from the user’s side.
If 74000 viruses per day can be kept in check and more than 20 million malwares have been pinned down, it is not impossible to eliminate Cyber Pornography at least from India if there is a serious effort.
What we may need is to develop a mechanism for reporting of pornographic URLs and development of a central data base of all such reports. Then all ISPs should create a black list of URLs by linking their DNS cache with the black listed URLs. If we take up this effort on a war footing the way Mr Modi has launched the “Clean India Campaign”, it is possible to create a “Clean Indian Cyber Space” in no time.
It is possible that many users may start using proxy servers to beat the system. It does not matter. If we can eliminate 90% of pornography, then the damage would be significantly curtailed. The incentive to maintain the savitabhabhi.com or its alternative kirtu.com would die down gradually.
Naavi.org therefore calls upon the Bhagat Singh Committee to declare a “Swachh Bharatiya Cyber Space (Antarjaal) Abhyan” and work on how to develop the system of identifying pornographic content and encouraging development of more and more “Net Nanny” type of filters for schools and other organizations so that we can reach our “Swachh Bharatiya Antarjaal ” goal in 2015 itself.