Centre Readies Rs 195-Crore Scheme To Check Obscene Content Online


New Delhi: In a reply to a Supreme Court observation on ‘how can the Internet Service Providers stop uploading obscene content on the internet’, counsel for Google on Monday stated that the Centre has a scheme with “Rs 195.30 crore allotted which will have senior officers as experts monitoring the cybercrime issue”.

The apex court is hearing arguments in the case which pertains to the “loss of dignity for women and children due to the objectionable content uploaded online”.

The counsel for the respondents (Google) submitted that a new affidavit has been filed by the Centre in the case which talks about the salient features of cybercrime and how a Rs 195-crore scheme with experts has been devised to look into the issue.

In an earlier round of hearing, a bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit had sought information from Google about its “in-house procedure” adopted to identify such obscene content and “what steps can they take to prevent it”.

However, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who was representing Google India, expressed regret in not being able to prevent such acts unless reported by an individual.

This case has opened up the possibility of whether artificial intelligence can play a key role in the automatic deletion of objectionable content uploaded online. But on Monday, Google submitted that there are algorithms which govern the search engine’s operation and it is impossible to keep a check on it as the “system is automated and since there is no human interface”.

“To put a human interface in this automated system will skew the system as it will depend on a person to allow or disallow any content,” submitted Google India.

This bench had earlier asked the search giant “will it or will not it be conducive to prevent the uploading of such contents” and also had said that what the apex court is “looking for is prevention and not cure, when it comes to comes to pornographic content online”.

But on Monday, Google said that in a day, a billion videos are uploaded and “out of which may be 20 videos are of child pornography”. However, it also said that “there is a provision that can stop the serial offenders who have footprints of patterns”. The matter has now been adjourned to March 6.