Minister of State for Electronics and IT on Friday asserted that cannot be a cover for criminality, illegality and user harm, and emphasised that intermediaries have to be accountable for the content on their platforms.

The minister was addressing the valedictory session of the Conference on Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) organised by the Human Rights Commission in New Delhi.

Chandrasekhar made it clear that safety and trust cannot be sacrificed at the altar of and privacy, according to an official release.

“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,” Chandrasekhar said.

An intermediary wanting to do business in India is under obligation to carry out due diligence over the kind of content it carries, the minister said as he outlined the government’s firm resolve in ensuring that platforms are accountable to users.

“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,” the minister said.

He pointed out that the government and the intermediaries are not in any kind of adversarial relationship, and said it is in their joint interest to ensure that the internet is safe and trusted from exploitative material such as CSAM.

The minister – while referring to CSAM content in the domain of online gaming – 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”.

The minister also spoke of the upcoming Digital India Act, that will be a contemporaneous legislation, to deal with everything necessary to ensure that the internet in India is safe and trusted for the digital ‘nagriks’.

“India will chart its own course to ensure that the internet is safe and trusted, not just for adults but also for children,” Chandrasekhar asserted.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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