Tuesday, November 19, 2013

'Porn sites cause crime against women' Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday said it wanted immediate steps taken to block websites with pornographic content, especially those featuring children.

The court asked the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) about the steps which can be taken in this regard. 

A bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan asked the Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, of which DoT is a part, to file its response within three weeks.

The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Kamlesh Vaswani, who pleaded that although watching obscene videos was not an offence, pornographic sites should be banned as they were one of the major causes behind crimes against women. 

States which watch the most porn

"The absence of Internet laws encourages people to watch porn videos and over 20 crore videos or clippings are freely available in the market, which have been directly downloaded from the Internet or copied from video CDs," the petition stated. 

Legal experts say the Information Technology Act does not make it illegal to view adult porn but watching child porn is an offence and the law applies to "whoever creates text or digital images, collects, seeks, browses, downloads'' child porn. 

Referring to Section 67B of the IT Act added in 2008, which prescribes punishment for involvement in sexually explicit online or electronic content that depicts children, cyber law expert Pavan Duggal said: "The problem is that this law has never been invoked yet and till date there has not been any conviction." 

The Centre had earlier told the SC that it was difficult to block international porn sites and sought time to consult various ministries in order to find a solution. 

The court criticised the Centre for taking such a long time in dealing with a serious issue, while granting it time to devise a mechanism to block such sites, particularly those containing child pornography. 

The petition pointed out that the sexual content that children are accessing today is far more graphic, violent, brutal, deviant and destructive, and has put the whole of society in danger as well as posing threats to public order in India.

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