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FIR against Twitter under POCSO, IT Acts for links, material on child sexual abuse

The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Twitter after a complaint was received from the NCPCR regarding availability of child sexual abuse and child pornographic material on the site in the form of various accounts and links.

Delhi Police Cyber Cell has registered an FIR under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and Information Technology (IT) Act against Twitter after receiving a complaint from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), citing availability of links and material pertaining to child exploitation.

“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, adding that the complaint was made against Twitter Inc and Twitter Communication India Private Ltd.

The complaint is the latest addition to a series of controversies Twitter India is embroiled in. On Monday, senior government officials said that Twitter in India is no longer an “intermediary” and, therefore, cannot be provided the legal protection that is accorded to Internet intermediaries under Section 79 of the IT Act.

The decision comes after the tech giant failed to adhere to norms of the new IT rules, requiring appointment of executives as Resident Grievance Officer, Nodal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer. While Twitter had announced the appointment of Dhar.mendra Chatur as interim resident grievance officer, he resigned from the company on Sunday.

Despite a letter dated June 6  to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, assuring that Twitter was working to make permanent appointments to these posts, the ministry officials have said that as of Monday, Twitter had not shared these details.

In May, the Delhi Police Special Cell had reached Twitter India’s offices to serve them a notice over the ‘manipulated media’ tag on Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra’s tweet regarding the controversial ‘Congress toolkit.’

Earlier, Twitter and the Centre had locked heads over nearly 100 accounts that the Government of India had asked the micro-blogging site to block over tweets on the farmers’ protest. However, Twitter had unblocked the accounts, after conveying to the Centre “that the accounts and Tweets in question constitute free speech and are newsworthy.”

With inputs from Mahender Singh Manral

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