New law on anvil to curb online child sex abuse content: Mantri | India News

NEW DELHI: The government is working on a new legislation, The Digital India Act, that proposes to bring in stronger provisions to make the internet safe and and stop internet aided circulation of illegal, criminal and child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Highlighting this as part of measures being taken to crack down on CSAM, junior electronics and information technology minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar asserted that under the IT rules it is obligatory on the part of internet service providers to remove illegal and criminal content.
He was speaking at the concluding session of the national conference on child sexual abuse material organised by the National Human Rights Commission here. He said the government is committed to making Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other intermediaries accountable for hosting offensive content.
Chandrasekhar asserted that while he strongly believes in the right to privacy but free expression and privacy cannot be a cover for criminality. “Even if a person is anonymous, the intermediaries have to disclose the originator of such content. The internet which was seen as a tool for the empowerment of the people morphed into an ecosystem that thrives on criminality and illegality, which is at an all time high,” he said. He also said the government will soon come out with rules to regulate online gaming and stop circulation of online games incorporating CSAM.
Agreeing that the existing Information Technology Act enacted way back in 2000 doesn’t address the challenges of the present times, he said the government therefore framed the IT Rules, 2021 that were amended in 2022 to make intermediaries liable and it is also proposing to bring a new digital technology law.
NHRC chairman Justice Arun Mishra said, “Intermediaries can’t be allowed to perpetuate circulation of offensive material in garb of privacy and freedom of speech”.

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