New Delhi yet to initiate transnational efforts to curb online child sex abuse
Despite the Supreme Court last month constituting a panel to discuss the ways in which online child pornography can be curbed, India is found wanting in transnational efforts to arrest the problem.
The apex court had asked the panel ? which has representatives from the Home, IT ministries from the government side and from companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc. ? to understand whether it is technologically feasible and viable to stop access to viewership of websites that carry child pornography.
As the internet is a transnational entity, only a collective effort can stop the problem in its tracks. However, India is missing from those discussions.
India is not a part of the Virtual Global Task Force, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies from countries such as the US, UK, Australia, Netherlands, Switzerland, Korea, Canada, UAE, Colombia, Italy, New Zealand, Philippines, the Interpol and the Europol, that combat online child abuse. India is also not a part of global initiatives like Reprotect Children ? an initiative of the United Kingdom that has the participation of over 65 countries.
The cyber-crime department of the Interpol, too, has an initiative where it requests member countries for a cache of any child sex abuse content so that it can inform the source country to pull down the URLs of the content. India started taking down such URLs only in December last year.
Vidya Reddy of TULIR says that most of the child pornography content that is available online is old content that resurfaces every once in a while. ?We need to also find out ways of stopping new content from coming up. And, to do that officials need to be a part of global initiatives. It makes the work of NGOs easier too,? she says.
Janavi Doshi of The Foundation says that states have different ways of tackling child sex abuse. ?While Tamil Nadu has a concerted effort like special courts, other states lack those initiatives,? says Doshi. She says that several NGOs in India are part of a coalition to help each other curb the abuse. But, there is no expression of the government in it.
OZ ACCUSED TOOK INDIAN NGOS FOR A RIDE
Australian police, while probing a case, chanced upon a website with enormous content of child pornography. They then mounted an intensive investigation, ?Operation Argo?, where they took over as administrators of the web page for six months to find out the operation of the paedophile ring around it. One of the accused was Richard Huckle, who was found abusing Malaysian children of Indian origin. He escaped the Malay police to be eventually caught by Britain?s National Crime Agency. It was later found that Huckle visited several NGOs in India that worked in the area of child development. However, since his activities in India remain under the dark, he could not be booked for any offence he might have committed in India.