The government has issued notices to various social media platforms including X, formerly Twitter, YouTube and Telegram to remove child sexual abuse material from their respective platforms in India, an official statement said on Friday (October 6).
Minister of State for Electronics and IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar warned the social media intermediaries that if they do not act on the matter, their safe harbour under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn, which would mean that the social media platforms can directly be prosecuted under the laws and rules, even though they may not have uploaded the content.
"Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued notices to social media intermediaries X, YouTube and Teleram, warning them to remove Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) from their platforms on the Indian internet. The notices served to these platforms emphasize the importance of prompt and permanent removal or disabling of access to any CSAM on their platforms," the statement said.
Take proactive measures: Govt
The notices also asked the platforms to take proactive measures like content moderation algorithms and reporting mechanisms in order to prevent the dissemination of CSAM in the future.
"We have sent notices to X, YouTube and Telegram to ensure there are no Child Sexual Abuse Material that exist on their platforms. The government is determined to build a safe and trusted internet under the IT rules. "If they do not act swiftly, their safe harbour under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn and consequences under the Indian law will follow," Chandrasekhar said.
The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, provides the legal framework for addressing pornographic content, including CSAM.
Sections 66E, 67, 67A, and 67B of the IT Act impose stringent penalties and fines for the online transmission of obscene or pornographic content, the statement said.
(With PTI inputs)