Hindustan Times is considered a news paper with a history. With the years of experience should have come certain maturity in journalism and principles of ethics. But one doubts if Hindustan Times editor had any inkling of what the article published today under the title “The Darknet: A secret world of snuff porn, drugs and guns” and “In The shadows of Darknet, a shelter for crusaders and law breakers alike” under credit to two authors Pranav Dixit and Rezaul H Laskar, could mean in legal terms.
The articles also contain some self admissions of illegal drug trafficking and consumption activities which can be probed to logical conclusion.
This article was perhaps aimed at painting the Government of India at present in bad light and to promote usage of pornographic content by internet browsers.
The article contains URLs of several pornographic websites, and one of the print editions contains a step by step guideline of how to use dark net to browse such sites.
Naturally there has been a question raised by many whether Hindustan Times is teaching everybody including children how to access dark net and pornographic content on the web.
This is nothing different from running a terrorist training camp or at least a training camp for thieves on how to commit burglary.
Normally sub editors and editors regulate the content which inexperienced journalists try to post in the news paper. But in this case it appears that Hindustan Times had no controls to prevent such blatant illegal coaching.
In order to teach a lesson in ethics to the two journalists who have authored the article and the editors who have failed to carry out due diligence, I draw the attention of the Police in Delhi, the Press Council and the Government to initiate appropriate actions against the concerned persons.
If Government does not show the resolve to pull up such journalists like they rightly did against some TV channels for their coverage of Yakub Memon’s hanging, the unethical and unscrupulous journalists will defeat the very purpose of law such as Section 67B of ITA 2008.
I also call upon the Narcotics Control division to take note of what is stated in the article and follow up.
The Chief Editor of Hindustan Times needs to apologize to the public for such a blatant error of judgement on the part of his publication.