MEITY Issues Notices To X, Youtube, and Telegram Over Child Sexual Abuse Material

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MEITY Issues Notices To X, Youtube, and Telegram Over Child Sexual Abuse Material

Ministry of Electronics and IT has issued notices to social media intermediaries X, Youtube and Teleram, warning them to remove Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) from their platforms on the Indian internet.

The notices served to these platforms emphasize the importance of prompt and permanent removal or disabling of access to any CSAM on their platforms. They also call for the implementation of proactive measures, such as content moderation algorithms and reporting mechanisms, to prevent the dissemination of CSAM in the future.

These notices from MEITY stated that non-compliance with these requirements will be deemed a breach of Rule 3(1)(b) and Rule 4(4) of the IT Rules, 2021. The Ministry has warned the three social media intermediaries that any delay in complying with the notices will result in the withdrawal of their safe harbor protection under Section 79 of the IT Act, which currently shields them from legal liability.

According to Union Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & IT, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, “We have sent notices to X, Youtube and Telegram to ensure there are no Child Sexual Abuse Material that exist on their platforms. The Government is determined to build a safe and trusted internet under the IT rules.

The IT rules under the IT Act lays down strict expectations from social media intermediaries that they should not allow criminal or harmful posts on their platforms. If they do not act swiftly, their safe harbour under section 79 of the IT Act would be withdrawn and consequences under the Indian law will follow.”

Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been a vocal advocate for removing such harmful content from the Indian internet, ensuring this approach becomes the ministry’s policy vision. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, 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.

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