Cyber crimes against children
Whether Government has taken cognizance of a number of children becoming victims of cyber crimes in the country?
As per information provided by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, a total of 5, 8 and 17 cases were registered during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively under section 67B of Information Technology Act, 2000 pertaining to publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc., in electronic form.
Further, a total of 40, 94 and 48 cases were registered during the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively under section 14 (using child for pornographic purposes) & section 15 (storage of pornographic material involving child) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.
Government has taken the following steps to tackle crime against children:
1. The Information Technology Act, 2000 has provisions to deal with cyber crime against children. Section 67B provides for the punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc. in electronic form.
Further, Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 provides for certain due diligence to be followed by Intermediaries failing which they would be liable. The Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 notified under section 79 of the Act, inter alia, specifies that the intermediaries shall inform the users of computer resource not to host, display, upload, modify, publish, transmit, update or share any information that is grossly harmful, harms minor in any way; violates any law for the time being in force; etc.
2. Government periodically blocks the websites containing extreme Child sexual abuse material based on INTERPOL’s “worst of list” received through Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). CBI is the national nodal agency for Interpol in India. As on 20th December 2017, Department of Telecom (DoT) issued instructions to block 4694 number of such websites.
3. The government has issued an order to the concerned Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to work out a suitable arrangement for receiving Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) list of CSAM websites/webpages on a dynamic basis and block access to child pornography webpages/ websites.
4. Department of Telecommunications (DOT) has communicated to all ISPs requesting them to make suitable arrangement to spread awareness among their subscribers about the use of Parental Control filters in the end-user machines through messages of email, invoices, SMS, website, etc.
5. Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued guidelines on 18.08.2017 to schools on the safe and secure use of Internet. This circular directs schools to install effective firewalls, filtering and monitoring software mechanisms in all the computers and deploy effective security policies.
6. Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is implementing a comprehensive central sector scheme, namely “Centre for Cyber Crime Prevention against Women and Children (CCPWC)” to handle all issues related to check all cyber-crime against women and children including child pornography.
7. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has published a booklet on “Child Victims of Cyber Crime – Legal Tool Kit” as a guide for investigating officers for better understanding of the cyber crime related laws in simple language.
8. POCSO E-box portal by NCPCR was opened for reporting of cyber crime targeting children on 23rd June 2017. NCPCR has now enhanced the scope of POCSO E-box on 4th November 2017 to also handle cyber bullying, cyber stalking, morphing of images and child pornography. The E-Box is also available as Mobile app at Google/Apple Play Store.