Digital safety is one of the most important issues seeking the attention of policymakers these days. The government is taking all possible steps to ensure digital safety of the citizens.
The Ministry Of Home Affairs (MHA) operates a National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, which enables citizens to report any incident concerning any kind of cybercrime especially related to women and children.
MHA has also launched a programme called ‘Cyber Volunteers’ for citizens for reporting unlawful content on websites or social media.
The government further takes major steps in regards to digital safety of citizens:
• The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 has provisions to deal with popular cyber crimes including the ones related to women. Sections 66E, 67, and 67A of the Act provide for the punishment and fine for violation of bodily privacy and publishing or transferring of heinous sexual content on the internet. Section 67B of the Act gives strict punishment for publishing, browsing or transmitting child pornography in the virtual world. Sections 354C and 354D of Indian Penal Code provide consequences for cyberbullying and cyberstalking.
• Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines) Rules, 2011 under section 79 of the IT Act need that the intermediaries shall show diligence while undertaking their responsibilities. The intermediary shall publish on its website the name of the Grievance Officer and his contact details to address the grievances received from users and affected individuals/organisations. Intermediaries are also expected to remove any illegal content relatable to Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India as and when brought to their knowledge either through court order or through a notice by the appropriate government or its agency or directed under section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.
• Government keeps blocking the websites containing child pornographic content based on Interpol’s “worst of list” received through Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the national nodal agency for Interpol in India.
• Government has even issued advisory to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to work out a suitable arrangement for receiving Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), UK list of CSAM websites/webpages and block access to child pornography webpages/websites.
• National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR)published a guide booklet on “Child Victims of Cyber Crime – Legal Tool Kit” for investigating officers for better understanding of the cybercrime-related laws.
• MeitY via its campaign called Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA), is creating awareness among users highlighting the importance of following the ethics and avoiding unethical means while using the Internet and advising them not to share rumours/fake news
• MeitY on March 20, 2020 issued a memorandum to major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Helo wherein the Intermediaries are urged to:
• Initiate awareness campaign for not circulating fake news
• Take immediate action to disable /remove such fake content
• Promote distribution of authentic information related to coronavirus