12,106.90-62.95
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

House panel to submit report on online safety of kids in a month

14-member committee mulls over legislative provisions to address online exploitation. The government has revealed in the ongoing Parliament session that 377 websites hosting child pornography have been taken down while 50 first information reports (FIRs) have been filed in cases of online sexual exploitation of children.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 13, 2019, 07.07 AM IST
0Comments
BCCL
cyber-crime-BCCL
Technology policy analyst Prasanto Roy said any panel looking at safety of children online could start by taking a look at the existing legislation in the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code and see whether they are sufficient or not.
NEW DELHI: A team of Members of Parliament put together by Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu, which met for the second time on Thursday after its formation last week, is looking at possible legislative provisions to address online exploitation of children.

Members of the panel told ET that in the next one month the committee, comprising 14 members from 10 parties, will hold deliberations with telecom regulator Trai, National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights and social media companies such as Bytedance (TikTok), WhatsApp, Google, Facebook, Sharechat and Microsoft and submit its report.

One member said the panel will consult civil society groups, child psychiatrists, teachers, experts, parents and government agencies like the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and law enforcement agencies.

The government has revealed in the ongoing Parliament session that 377 websites hosting child pornography have been taken down while 50 first information reports (FIRs) have been filed in cases of online sexual exploitation of children. To investigate issues related to child porn, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) set up a special online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation(OCSAE) Prevention and Investigation Unit in Delhi last month under its Special Crime Zone.

Naidu announced on Thursday that the group, which was constituted as an “informal panel” to study issues related to pornographic content on the Internet and social media platforms, had been converted into an ad hoc committee.

He said the decision to convert the group into an ad hoc committee was taken after Ramesh, the coordinator of the informal group, met him and explained logistics problems being faced since the panel was an informal one. All rules relating to the Select Committee on Bill would now apply to the panel, he said.

The panel includes Vinay P Shasrabuddhe, Jaya Bachchan, Rajeev Chandrashekar, MV Rajeev Gauda, Roopa Ganguly, Tiruchi Siva, Vandana Chavan and Vijila Sathyanath. The decision to form the panel was taken after AIADMK MP Vijila Sathyananth raised the issue in the House.

A member said that in the two meetings held till now, potential reasons for the growth of child sex abuse were discussed and it was decided that the panel would also look at global best practices in dealing with online safety for children.

“For instance, the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA) in the US looks at preventing young people from accessing obscene material on commercial websites but has not been updated to meet digital safety needs. We also want an appropriate socio-cultural approach to this, by starting with properly warning parents about the risks associated with certain apps and giving parents more parental controls options,” said the MP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Technology policy analyst Prasanto Roy said any panel looking at safety of children online could start by taking a look at the existing legislation in the IT Act and the Indian Penal Code and see whether they are sufficient or not.
Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service