Unable to block Internet pornography due to technical and legal handicaps, the government Monday proposed an idea of a pre-installed software in every computer sold in India for blocking such websites.
In its submission to the Supreme Court, the Centre said that it was alive to the dangers of the unrestrained exposure to pornographic contents on the Internet and was therefore examining several options to ward off the perils.
Additional Solicitor General KV Viswanathan, appearing for the Centre, said that a Cyber Advisory Committee was looking into several options to restrict the access of pornographic contents and the proposed measures included having a software pre-installed in all the machines.
“It is being examined if a software can be installed in the hardware of every computer which is being manufactured and sold. It can be an in-built feature of all the machines…for all the households so that children are not exposed to such materials,” the ASG told a bench led by Justice B S Chauhan.
He added that the proposition was under consideration of the Advisory Committee, which would also examine legal and technical issues that the government may face while directing the manufacturers for such an in-built software in computers.
“Omnibus blocking is not practical. Such a blocking would do more harm than good. However, there are suggestions that we are working on and the government is willing to comply with what the Committee recommends,” said Viswanathan.
He also maintained that there was a problem with the existing legal regime since morality is nowhere a valid ground on which basis a website can be blocked. “There is not direct blocking of the website and only indirect blocking happens after the designated authority so directs. The subject matter involves legal-technical interface and hence all the aspects require to be taken care of,” said the ASG.
The bench later adjourned for two weeks the hearing of the PIL on banning pornographic websites in the country and the absence of laws to regulate such contents.
The Indian Express had first reported the government’s stand on its inability to completely ban Internet pornography in the country. The Secretary of Department of Telecommunications had further conceded that legal actions were also not possible in a large number of cases.