Supreme Court issues notice to social media sites on offensive material

Written by | December 6, 2016 | 0

NEW DELHI: With instances of social media being used to circulate offensive material, including rape videos, coming to light, the Supreme Court sought response from Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft on Monday on why their platforms are hosting illegal activities.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit issued notice to the companies seeking a response by January 9 after the Centre said the court should direct service providers not to allow subscribers to circulate objectionable material on social networking sites.

Besides videos showing sexual assaults, uploading of private clips without consent has become a source of harassment with the victims finding themselves at the receiving end of social stigma and often cyber abuse.

The court passed the order on a plea of NGO Prajwala, which sought its direction to the service providers to take off an offensive video.

Stating that the apex court had earlier directed online search engines — Google, Yahoo and Microsoft — to remove all illegal advertisements and content relating to sex selection and abortion, the NGO’s counsel Aparna Bhat said similar orders are needed to prevent people from circulating offensive material. “Service providers shall be mandated to report the video as soon as they come to know of it,” she contended.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the bench that government is considering making CBI a nodal agency to handle all cyber crime cases and was setting up a National Cyber Crime Coordination Centre for such incidents and national security issues in co-ordination with other agencies.

Filed in: National

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