The Government is considering making changes to the law to ensure stricter actions against cyber-crimes which target women such as ‘revenge porn videos.’ The step was taken by the government in the light of increasing crime incidents against women in social media.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) is particularly focusing on cyber crimes, violence against women or sexual abuse online and is finding out ways to bridge the gap between the Information Technology Act and the IPC provisions to deal with cases related to revenge porn.

Revenge porn or Revenge pornography is the term related to sharing of sexually explicit photos or videos on the internet, often by a ex-partner or a jilted lover in order to seek revenge. The content may have been shot with or without the consent of the person concerned.

According to the sources, WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi expressed concern on the rise in cases of online sexual abuse which is an infringement of dignity of women. This impacts the women mentally, she feels embarrassed and in many cases struggles to even register the case because of societal humiliation.

The ministry officials said that there may be no need of formulating new legislation ,but the provisions under IPC and IT Act have to be made stricter. The Ministry feels that there are many loopholes in the existing laws which need to be tackled.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) consultations on May 12, formulated some measures to curtail threats from online child-sex abuse. Under this order, Internet Service Providers (ISP) have to adopt and implement Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) Resources by July 31. The work of this foundation is to keep an eye and maintain a global list of websites and URLs containing material related to child-sexual abuse.

The implementation of IWF resources will restrict the unwanted material and will block and remove the relevant content from the websites. This is an interim measure till the IMC places a centralised mechanism to monitor child sexual abuse material.

A meeting was held by the Ministry on March 10, to formulate an outline skeleton of National Alliance against Online Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. Participants in the meeting put forward their viewpoints and complained about the growing menace. They said that there was a need to create a fast track procedure for speedy compliance of requests made to ISPs for information and blocking or removal of the online content. A dialog with international platforms like IWF, Cybertip is being urgently required.

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