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Govt plans new body to crack down on child porn, online abuse

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Tackling child pornography and online abuse will be the top priority of a highly sophisticated centre to be set up by the government to deal with cyber crime.

The initiative comes after an expert committee constituted to prepare a roadmap for effectively tackling cyber crime submitted its report to the Home Ministry.

According to the recommendations of the committee, there is a need to drastically reduce crimes against children and women, especially online abuse.

“These kinds of content and websites need to be monitored and blocked. The supporting laws need to be strengthened, parents need to be educated to monitor children’s activities in and educate children about good cyber behaviour,” the committee has said in its report.

A Rs 400 crore cybercrime control hub, to be called ‘Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre’ (IC4), will be set up to check all cyber crime, including child pornography and online abuse, as per the recommendations of the committee.

“Home Minister Rajnath Singh has already directed speedy implementation of recommendations of the committee,” an official said.

The government has taken seriously the issue of pornography and asked Internet Service Providers to block over 800 sites which had child porn content.

The Supreme Court too had pulled up the government for not doing much to check child pornography.

There has been almost 40 per cent annual increase in cyber crimes registered in the country during the past two-three years, according to an official estimate.

The expert committee found that India lacks centralised online reporting mechanism, inadequate infrastructure for cyber crime monitoring and investigation, besides skilled cyber professionals.

Other drawbacks include challenges related to technology and research and development, lack of citizen awareness, legal and jurisdictional issues and lack of Standard Operating Procedure for cyber crime investigation.

The IC4 will have linkages with CCTNS and NATGRID, the two databases having information related to various kinds of crime and criminals.