Preventing child pornography: First hotline next week

New Delhi: 

The country's first-ever to curb ofthrough the and to remove content is set to be unveiled next week.

 

Initiative, a network of organisations and individuals working on protection in the country, has collaborated with UK-based Watch Foundation (IWF), which is an industry watchdog and is the most successful in the world at removing pornography.

 

The in will be hosted on aarambhindia.Org and will enable users to report images and videos in a safe and anonymous environment. While the will initially be in English and Hindi, in the future it will also be available in as many as 22 regional languages.
 

 

The purpose of the is three fold — to block and ultimately remove offensive content, to trace the perpetrator and report him to the enforcement agencies of his country, and to reach out to the victim and rehabilitate him/her as and when required.

 

Once an individual comes across an image or a video on the internet, which shows of children, he or she can report the url (web address) to the hotline.

 

A complaint made on the remains confidential and is accessed by an expert team of IWF based in the UK. This team picks the offensive URL and adds it to its blocking list thus disrupting any further access to the content until it has been removed.

 

Once the content is removed, it is assigned a unique identification number in order to ensure that it is not uploaded in the future.

 

This expert team also decides the criminality and severity of the content and determines the location from where it was uploaded and where it was being hosted. Thereafter, it contacts the host as well the enforcement agency of the country from where it was uploaded.

 

Back home, activists say that almost all cases of involve technology despite the slow pace of proliferation.

 

"According to (Crime Records Bureau) data, offences are second only to illegal gain and fraud in cybercrimes. Last year, around 96 cases were reported under sections concerning and children. The year before, the number was just 40. This shows a 140 per cent increase," says Siddharth Pillai, co-director and communications manager,Initiative

 

"This despite the fact that penetration is only 20 per cent and the quality of the connection isn't optimum either. As connectivity improves, the issue is bound to see a staggering rise if preventive measures are not put in place," he added.

 

This tool can also be helpful in bridging the gap teams often encounter while dealing with crimes committed through internet. The global nature of such crimes, where a perpetrator could be victimising a from a different country, often is a hindrance to investigators and can now be overcome through this hotline.

 

"The could be and should be integrated with all the existing services offered by the government for preventing abuse. A complaint pertaining to content can be easily redirected to us in order to ensure that the image doesn't go viral," he informed.

 

"Similarly, this can come in handy for the cyber crime cell as well. When a host is outside thedepartment can do very little. But now they can use our to report those images that can then be taken off immediately," according to Initiative co-founder Uma Subramanian.

 

Protection of from Offences Act (POCSO) Act, safeguards fromabuse, and pornography.

 

According to the law, anyone using a in any form of media for the purpose of gratification can be sent to jail for not less than 5 years. If images or videos show assault they could even invite rigorous life imprisonment.