New Delhi: The Delhi Police’s cyber cell has registered an FIR against Twitter for allegedly allowing access to child pornography on the site on a complaint by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), officials said on Tuesday.
“Acting on a complaint received from the NCPCR regarding availability of child sexual abuse and child pornographic material on Twitter in the form of various accounts and links, a Case FIR under relevant sections of IPC, IT Act and POCSO Act has been registered by Cyber Crime Unit, and investigation has been taken up,” Delhi Police spokesperson Chinmoy Biswal said, according to a report in the Indian Express, and added that the complaint was made against Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication India Private Ltd.
The move comes days after the NCPCR, the country’s apex child rights body, asked the deputy commissioner of police (cyber cell) Anyesh Roy to explain why no action had been taken against Twitter as per its letter to the Delhi Police dated May 29.
In its letter, the NCPCR had asked the Delhi Police to book Twitter on the basis of the findings of its recent inquiry in which it had found that child sexual abuse material (CSAM) was easily available on the platform.
The complaint was against Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication India Private Ltd., the police said.
In its May 29 letter, the NCPCR had said that it was found that “the toolkit for deep and dark web” was also available on Twitter. This gives access to all, including children, to obtain CSAM.
The move comes a day after senior government officials declared that Twitter India was no longer an “intermediary” and was not liable for legal protection under the Internet intermediaries under Section 79 of the IT Act.
On Sunday, Twitter’s interim resident grievance officer for India Dharmendra Chatur stepped down, leaving the platform without a grievance official as mandated by the new IT rules, which became effective from May 26. The social media company’s website no longer displays his name, as required under Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021. Instead, a US employee’s name now appears in that space – global legal policy director Jeremy Kessel.
Twitter and the government have been on a collision course on multiple issues in the past months, including during the farmers’ protest and later when the microblogging platform tagged political posts of several leaders of the ruling party BJP as “manipulated media“, drawing a sharp rebuke from the Union government.
(With inputs from PTI)