New Delhi- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) has taken a stern stance against Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) circulating on social media platforms. MEITY has issued official notices to prominent social media intermediaries X, YouTube, and Telegram, compelling them to eradicate CSAM from their platforms within the Indian internet.*
The notices, served by MEITY, underscore the paramount need for swift and permanent removal or disabling of access to any CSAM present on these platforms. Furthermore, they demand the implementation of proactive measures, including advanced content moderation algorithms and robust reporting mechanisms, to prevent the proliferation of CSAM in the future.
MEITY has explicitly stated that non-compliance with these stringent requirements will be regarded as a breach of Rule 3(1)(b) and Rule 4(4) of the IT Rules, 2021. The consequences of such breaches could be severe.
MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT, firmly declared*, There will be zero tolerance for criminal and harmful content on the Indian internet. The Government is resolute in its commitment to foster a secure and trustworthy digital environment under the IT rules. These regulations impose strict expectations on social media intermediaries, mandating that they do not permit the dissemination of criminal or harmful content on their platforms. Failure to act promptly will lead to the withdrawal of their safe harbor protection under section 79 of the IT Act, invoking the full force of Indian law.
Minister Chandrasekhar has been a vocal advocate for the removal of such harmful content from the Indian internet, making it a cornerstone of the ministry's policy vision.
The move by MEITY aligns with the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, which provides the legal framework for addressing pornographic content, including CSAM. Sections 66E, 67, 67A, and 67B of the IT Act impose stringent penalties and fines for the online transmission of obscene or pornographic content.
As the Indian government intensifies its efforts to curb the circulation of harmful content online, the notices sent to X, YouTube, and Telegram underscore a resolute commitment to fostering a safer and more secure digital space for all citizens.
Image Credit: ANI