NCRB to track complaints on sexual violence

Prelims level : Rising threat of cyber-crimes against children Mains level : Rising threat of cyber-crimes against children
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Why in News?

  • Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has designated National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) as nodal authority to curb online child pornography, sexual violence and rape videos. It was decided by high-level meeting to discuss recommendations on ways to curb “sexual violence” videos involving women and children.

Curbing Sexual Violence:

  • To curb easy availability of online child porn and gang rape videos, the Centre has designated the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) to act on such online content either on the basis of complaints or by taking suo motu cognizance.
  • Under section 79 of the IT Act, 2000, the MHA designated “NCRB, to be the agency of the MHA to perform the functions under clause (b) of sub-section (3) of section 79 of Information Technology Act, 2000 and to notify the instances” as per the earlier order.
  • The discussions were held ahead of the upcoming hearing before the Supreme Court on a plea by NGO Prajwala highlighting the availability of child porn and rape videos online
  • The apex court in its last hearing had warned social media websites of imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh each per day till they developed a fool proof mechanism to prevent uploading of objectionable material.
  • It directed the ways to filter objectionable materials, including rape videos on laptops and smartphones.

Child Pornography still out of control:

  • While there are certain restrictions on accessing child pornography on desktop computers, the search engines and social media have not been able to curb it on laptops and smartphones.
  • A hash value (code) for all such videos and child sexual abuse material has been generated and shared with the content service provider which is being used to identify such videos online.
  • NCRB has been mandated to launch an online portal for receiving complaints and acting on them.
  • A list of 500 key words used in searching such child porn and rape videos has also been compiled and will be shared with the ISPs, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, WhatsApp and Microsoft,” said an official.

States demanding Policing reform:

  • The States urged the Centre to bring amendments to the Information Technology Act, 2000 and authorize a sub inspector (SI) level officer to investigate cases under IT Act.
  • Only an inspector level officer can investigate IT related offences.

National Crime Records Bureau:

  • The NCRB is a government agency responsible for collecting and analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • NCRB is headquartered in New Delhi and is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • NCRB was set-up in 1986 to function as a repository of information on crime and criminals so as to assist the investigators in linking crime to the perpetrators.
  • It was set up based on the recommendation of the Task force and National Police Commission by merging the Directorate of Coordination and Police Computer (DCPC), Statistical Branch of BPR&D, Inter State Criminals Data Branch of CBI and Central Finger Print Bureau of CBI.
  • NCRB brings out three annual reports i.e. Crime in India, Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India and Prison Statistics India. These reports are principal reference points for police officers, researchers, media & policy makers.
  • Besides, the Bureau is also collecting Crime Statistics and Anti-human Trafficking statistics on monthly basis. The complete software package of ‘Monthly Crime Statistics’ has been released in the month of December, 2016.
  • It collected data that not only picked up the reflective properties we would expect from ice, but was also able to directly measure the distinctive way its molecules absorb infrared light, so it can differentiate between liquid water or vapour and solid ice.
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