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Govt Orders ISPs to Block Child Sexual Abuse Content by July 31
The Centre on Friday asked all internet service providers (ISPs) to prevent the distribution and transmission of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) into the country by adopting and implementing Internet Watch Foundation Resources by July 31.
The ministry of women and child development (WCD) today issued an interim order to curb the online child sexual abuse material.
Under this order, the ISPs shall be required to adopt and implement the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Resources by July 31. The IWF maintains a dynamic global list of websites and URLs which contain Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).
Implementation of IWF Resources will result in the relevant content being blocked/removed on an ongoing basis.
It is an interim measure till the centralised mechanism is put in place to monitor the online CSAM.
The Order also states that all ISPs having international long distance licenses in India shall be required to adopt and implement the IWF resources on or before July 31 to prevent distribution and transmission of online CSAM into India.
This step was taken as most of such CSAM is being hosted outside India and the websites and URLs to access such unlawful content are dynamic in nature and frequently changing making it difficult to block the such content. As of now, in India, there is no centralised mechanism to monitor online child sexual abuse material .
It also reiterates that the ISPs will continue to observe due diligence requirements described under the IT Act for removing and disabling any content which is in violation of the extant rules and regulations.
Last year, in a stakeholder consultation, it was decided by the WCD ministry to establish a National Alliance against Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, focusing primarily on online content.
Subsequent to this decision, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was constituted on request of the WCD Ministry. The IMC includes ministry of home affairs (MHA), the ministry of electronics and information technology (MEITY), the ministry of law, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) and Department of Telecom.
Based on the IMC consultations, the MEITY, in collaboration with the WCD ministry, has now issued the orders under Section 79(2) (c) of the Information Technology Act 2000 to curb online child sexual abuse material.
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