The Supreme Court on Monday slapped internet giants like Google, Facebook and Yahoo a fine of Rs one lakh each for not filing their replies on the steps taken to block Sex abuse videos.
A bench of Justices Madan BLokur and UU Lalit said that despite its specific order, Yahoo, Facebook Ireland, Facebook India, Google India, Google Inc, Microsoft and WhatsApp failed to file any document to inform it about the progress made.
“In our order dated April 16, we had required the parties before us, that is Yahoo, Facebook Ireland, Facebook India, Google India, Google Inc., Microsoft and WhatsApp to let us know the status of progress made pursuant to the recommendations accepted by these entities as mentioned in the Report of the Committee.
“None of these entities has filed anything to show us the progress nor any of these entities is ready with any response pursuant to our aforesaid order,” the bench said.
The apex court asked the companies to file an affidavit before June 15 spelling out measures taken by them to curb videos of sexual offences on social sites.
The central government informed the apex court that it will launch an online cybercrime reporting portal on or before July 15.
“With regard to Institutional Mechanism at Central Level, it is stated that there is some dialogue between the States and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and other Ministries in this regard. It is further stated that all these three activities will be completed on or before July 15, 2018,” the bench said.
The apex court also said that “more than sufficient time” has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs to complete these tasks and directed it to complete the exercise by June 30.
The apex court was earlier informed that the Ministry had identified keywords for child pornography, rape and gang rape content search and a list of keywords in the English language has been compiled and circulated to content providers for further action.
It had directed the Centre to have a web portal ready by today to enable citizens lodge complaints on child sexual abuse, child pornography and gang rape videos.
In 2015, a Hyderabad-based NGO Prajwala had written to then Chief Justice of India HL Dattu along with two rape videos in a pen-drive. The court had on its own taken cognisance of the letter and asked the CBI to investigate the matter and nab the culprits.
The NGO’s letter had also suggested the idea of maintaining a national sex offenders’ register which should contain details of persons convicted for offences like eve-teasing, stalking, molestation and other sexual assaults.
(With inputs from agencies)