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As Part of New Govt Programme, Cyber ‘Volunteers’ to Report ‘Anti-national Activities’, Illegal Content

Representative Image

Representative Image

The programme will first start in Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura on a trial basis, and will be later implemented in other states depending on feedback.

As part of a new programme started by the cybercrime cell of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), citizens can now report illegal content and anti-national activities such as child pornography, rape, terrorism and radicalisation.

The Indian Express reported that the programme will first start in Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura on a trial basis, and will be later implemented in other states depending on feedback.

The report said that MHA’s Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) will act as a nodal point while volunteers can register themselves with their states or union territories to act as cyber volunteers.

The move is seen as controversial because government at present has no clear legal framework on what amounts to an anti-national activity in the country.

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The official website of MHA says volunteers who register for this programme are “prohibited from using the name or claiming association” with the ministry on any public platform. They cannot use it for any commercial gain either or issue any public statement about their association with the programme.

MHA specifies that the volunteers shall “maintain strict confidentiality of task assigned/carried out by him /her”.

“The State Nodal Officer of States/UTs also reserves the right to take legal action…against the Volunteer, in case of violation of terms and conditions of Cyber Volunteer Program,” it says.

To join the programme, people will need to submit their personal details such as name, father’s name, mobile number and email address.

first published:February 09, 2021, 08:56 IST