India is in the process of enacting news rules under the IT Act which will make it very difficult for games that will incorporate Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) to be available on the Indian internet, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said.
The minister made these remarks while addressing the valedictory session of the National Conference on CSAM organised by the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi on Friday (3 March).
He also said freedom of speech cannot be a cover for criminality, illegality and user harm, and reaffirmed that the intermediaries will have to be accountable for the content on their platforms.
Emphasising that safety and trust cannot be sacrificed at the altar of freedom of speech and privacy, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “For decades the model that was followed was that intermediaries were not accountable about the content on their platforms, and encouraged anonymity to prevent traceability of the illegal content. This helped the proliferation of child sexual abuse and other illegalities on the internet".
Stating that there has been a change in approach under the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rajeev Chandrasekhar said, “An intermediary, if it wants to do business in India, is now under obligation to carry out due diligence over the kind of content it carries and if there is content which is illegal or CSAM, it has to inform us about the first originator when a court order is produced".
Making it clear that the government and the Intermediaries are not in any kind of adversarial relationship, he said it is in their joint interest to ensure that the internet is safe and trusted from exploitative material such as CSAM.
Referring to CSAM content in the domain of online gaming, the minister said, “There are thousands of games which are gamified CSAM’s – we are in the process of enacting news rules under the IT Act which will make it very difficult for games that will incorporate CSAM to be available on the Indian internet”.
Speaking about the upcoming Digital India Act, the minister said that it will be a contemporaneous legislation, to deal with everything necessary to ensure that the Internet in India is safe and trusted for India's digital nagriks (citizens).
“India will chart its own course to ensure that the internet is safe and trusted, not just for adults but also for children,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar asserted.
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