India needs stricter child porn laws

DC
Published Nov 19, 2013, 2:28 pm IST
Updated Jan 20, 2016, 3:22 pm IST
While the ‘Sweetie’ sting operation to trap paedophiles shocked the world by busting a global child pornography ring.
As many as 103 adults from India watched the virtual Filipino child perform sexual acts online.
 As many as 103 adults from India watched the virtual Filipino child perform sexual acts online.

Hyderabad: While the ‘Sweetie’ sting operation to trap paedophiles shocked the world by busting a global child pornography ring, what is especially shameful is the fact that India was placed third — only after the US and the UK — in terms of adults watching the computer-generated Filipino child perform sexual acts online. The US had 254 adults watching the video live while the UK had 110. India was a close third with 103.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Department of Telecom on how to ban websites that have child pornographic content. It has given the department three-week time to report and remove any such content.

Child pornography, cyber bullying via creation of fake profiles on social networking websites and sending abusive messages and photographs from such profiles is now not a rarity even among school children. The need of the hour is to not tolerate abuse of any kind.

This is the theme for this International Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. Also, coinciding is the Child Rights Week (November 14-20) with its theme being ‘Protection of Children against Sexual Abuse’.

Cyber Crime officials in Hyderabad say that many such cases go unreported due to the sensitivity of the issue. Narrating one such incident, an official from the Cyber Crime department said that one Class VIII student was pulled up by his classmate’s parents for sending abusive messages.

However, after a thorough probe, they discovered that people known to him, perhaps his friends or acquaintances, created a fake account on his name, added his friends, started chatting with them and sent abusive messages and photographs from his account.

Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court advocate and an expert in cyber law said, “I think India needs to tighten its belt on online child molesters. The recent amendment of the IT Act, under Section 67 (B) now tags it as a penal offence that amounts to five-year imprisonment and `10 lakh fine. The other major issue is cyber bullying. The Section 66 (A) of the IT Act deals with this. But, in India, it has been considered as a minor offence so far. I think it should be made more stringent.” 

Location: Andhra Pradesh




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