Internet giants object to panel recommendations

The Supreme Court this week claimed that it was “extremely odd” that Internet giants were opposing for making particular suggestions public in a report of a board organized to discover technological solutions to obstruct videos related to sexual offences on social websites.

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The top court claimed that there was nothing undisclosed about the suggestions since delegates of the Internet giants such as Yahoo, Google, instant messaging platform WhatsApp, and Facebook had been present at the meeting and talked about the problem. “This is very odd. One of the talks is regarding the Ministry of Home Affairs making a specialist team that had given suggestions on child and women safety. You are opposing it. It is astonishing,” a bench including Justices U U Lalit and Madan B Lokur claimed to the media.

“During the talks, 17 individuals were present. So there is nothing undisclosed about it,” the bench noticed. The bench was told by the chairperson of the top-court hired group that the Internet majors had lifted objections on particular parts of the report from being made communal. The bench then looked forward to know from the board appearing for these companies the causes for their objections.

Kapil Sibal, the senior advocate appearing for WhatsApp, informed to the bench that the proceedings must be conducted “in-camera” and they might please the court about the questions lifted by it. Senior advocates Siddharth Luthra and A M Singhvi along with Sibal, appearing for various firms, claimed that they must be provided with the copy of the report. The bench claimed that the actions in the case might be conducted in-camera and requested the advocate of the companies to provide the list of individuals who might be present at the hearings.

The court also requested these firms to file affirmations remarking the causes for objections. The firms also looked forward for time to file affirmation giving data of grievances they had got from all over the nation regarding the offensive contents relating to rape, child pornography, and gang rape since 2016 till August 31, 2017 and the measures taken against them. The bench requested them to file the affirmation in 2 Weeks and reported the issue for hearing next month.

The court was investigating a memo sent to H L Dattu, the Chief Justice of India at that time, by Prajwala, the Hyderabad-located NGO, along with 2 videos of rape in a pen-drive.

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