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Restrict websites exclusively circulating porn: CJI to Govt

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan advocated placing “restrictions” on websites that exclusively circulate pornography and hate content.

“Government can place restrictions on websites that exclusively circulate pornography and hate speech,” Justice Balakrishnan said.

A few months ago, he had suggested an outright ban on such websites but had added that it would not be right to place a “blanket ban” on all categories of websites.

He said police often face several practical difficulties in tracing criminals located in foreign jurisdictions and have to rely on computer experts to track down perpetrators.

“For local jurisdiction there are problems on account of the structure of the flow of information over the internet.”

“End users can use fake identities and proxy server locations to misguide the investigating agencies,” he said addressing a seminar on enforcement of cyber laws.

He said in one case Government had expressed its helplessness in closing down a website that advertised kits for medical termination of pregnancy.

“The Government said it is difficult to ban the website as it was an international website,” he said.

The CJI, who demits office on May 11, said more and more persons are being victimised through the digital medium “and it is our moral responsibility to tackle the misuse of information technology.”

In a word of caution for investigating agencies, he said a distinction should be made between intermediaries such as network service providers, website operators and individual users for the purpose of placing liabilities.

He said well-known people, including stars were facing problem of their photographs being morphed for pornographic content on the Internet.

Speaking at the seminar, Supreme Court judge Justice Altamas Kabir, who also heads National Project Committee on enforcement of cyber laws, said the IT Act, 2000 has been amended to ensure implementation of various provisions with changing times.

He said amendments also help to connect various penal laws and the Evidence Act with the IT Act “to meet the challenges of the digital age.”

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