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Web Portal for Online Cyber-crime Reporting to be Launched by April End: Govt to Supreme Court

In December, the Court had asked the Centre to set up a cell within the Central Bureau of Investigation or the MHA to report and take down such videos and messages, besides directing Google, Yahoo, Facebook, WhatsApp and Microsoft to immediately act in removing such videos when reported.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:April 18, 2018, 4:13 PM IST
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Web Portal for Online Cyber-crime Reporting to be Launched by April End: Govt to Supreme Court
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: Web portal for online cyber-crime reporting is set to be launched for public in the last week of April. The beta version of the portal, which will be the first of its kind in India, shall be launched by the Central government under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The portal will enable people to register complaints of online abuse and other cyber-crimes on a real-time basis.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh informed a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur that connectivity of the portal has been tested with Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Chandigarh. "The process is underway to establish connectivity with all other States/UTs and efforts have been made to integrate as many States as possible before the launch date," Singh told the apex court.

A beta version release is the penultimate step before the final version of a software is out. A beta version contains all the core functionalities of the final version and is released to fix the bugs and to revamp it for maximum usability. The online cyber-crime reporting software is being developed by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the orders of the Supreme Court after the Court noticed an alarming spurt in cyber-crimes, in particular those relating to circulation of videos of rape, gang rape and child pornography.

In December, the Court had asked the Centre to set up a cell within the Central Bureau of Investigation or the MHA to report and take down such videos and messages, besides directing Google, Yahoo, Facebook, WhatsApp and Microsoft to immediately act in removing such videos when reported.

The proceedings in this PIL, which was registered suo motu by the Court in 2015 after NGO Prajwala highlighted the availability of child porn and rape videos online, take place in-camera. During the hearing on Monday, the bench also pressed for the need to put in place a Central Reporting Mechanism, as has been done in other countries particularly in the United States. The bench expressed its displeasure over the "scattered" submission made by the ASG in this regard and called for a "comprehensive and detailed status report" from the MHA.

"It would, of course, be in the interest of all concerned if the Central Reporting Mechanism is set up," noted the bench while taking note of the fact that not just MHA but various other ministries, including Women and Child Development, Electronics, Information and Technology, will be interested in taking corrective steps in so far as cyber-crimes are concerned. The bench will take up the case next on May 11.

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| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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