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“Intermediaries should be asked to keep a complete trail of forwarding of unlawful content…and verify and maintain identifiers of the users that can help attribute information to the users,” the source added.

On the issue of assistance to law enforcement agencies on identification of offender, the response is now “often delayed and meta data of end-to-end communication is not provided…They need to ensure 100% compliance as far as requests from law enforcement agencies are concerned.”

In October last year, the Supreme Court gave several directions for removal of sexually violent content from the Internet.

The Ministry of Home Affairs was later tasked with monitoring compliance on some agreed action points by both the government and the service providers. The ongoing proceedings in the matter started after the Supreme Court took suo motu note of a letter by an NGO on rampant circulation of sexual abuse videos.

Keyword repository

The source said the government has compiled a keyword repository of over 500 English and Hindi words.

“These have been shared with the intermediaries so that they can issue warning message for searching about child pornography or rape and gang rape videos. We have seen only partial compliance by the Internet giants.” Likewise, to an earlier instruction to set up an easy reporting mechanism for the public on their platform, “Facebook has complied partially, while WhatsApp and Twitter are yet to comply.”

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