07:41 GMT28 January 2020
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    The Indian government has asked its Internet service providers to adopt and implement the blacklisting of URLs listed on the UK-based watch groups Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to prevent children from sexual abuse online. The IWF list, which is updated twice a day, reportedly has around 3,500 URLs.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Union ministry of electronics and information technology has asked Internet service providers to comply with the order before July 31. The Supreme Court asked the government to set up an inter-ministerial committee and submit its report and recommendations on the issue in 2013.

    The recently-released committee report noted that "most online child sexual abuse materials are hosted by sites created outside India. The dynamic nature of these websites and URLs make them hard to track and block. At present, India does not have a centralized mechanism to track online child sexual abuse imageries or pornography."

    The UK watchdog segregates the URLs into three groups: content showing penetrative sexual assault of a child, non-penetrative sexual assault and pictures of children in sexual poses and other offensive imagery.

    Service providers in the country will have to pay a fee to access the site. However, the measure won't provide full protection, especially against encrypted sites.

    India banned around 850 websites citing the Supreme Court's directions to address the menace of pornography, especially child pornography, in 2015. A hotline which was started to receive complaints last September received 426 complaints related to child pornography from users over a period of six months.

    The highest number of sites containing child pornography was traced back to the US, followed by Russia and France.



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