The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the government can go ahead with a standard operating procedure (SOP) to deal with the publication and proliferation of sexually abusive online content like child pornography, rape and gang rape videos and objectionable material through social media intermediaries like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Microsoft and WhatsApp.
All these online giants had agreed that abusive and criminal content should be
FIRs under Sections 376 to 376E (the range of sexual offences under IPC) and those under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
The documents disclosing identity of a victim should be kept in a sealed cover.
Authorities to which a victim’s identity was disclosed by an investigating agency or the court are duty bound to “stamped out".
“The Government of India may frame the necessary guidelines/SOP and implement them within two weeks so as to eliminate child pornography, rape and gang rape imageries, videos and sites in content hosting platforms and other applications,” a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and U.U. Lalit recorded in its order.
In the last hearing, WhatsApp submitted it had an “end-to-end encryption technology due to which it will not be possible to remove the contents”.
Keep it a secret. A victim need not reveal her identity while filing an appeal in a criminal court, the SC said.
The judgment came on a writ petition by advocate Nipun Saxena highlighting the need to protect the identity of adult and child victims of rape and sexual abuse so that they are don’t face “ridicule, ostracisation and harassment.”