The IT minister said filtering of websites with obscene and objectionable content poses significant technical challenge. (Representational photo)
In order to check online child pornography, the government has initiated steps to devise a mechanism to access Interpol's 'worst-of-list' through the CBI and disable such content on the internet.
The government is also in touch with internet service providers (ISPs) on upgradation of their infrastructure and technology so as to address the shortcomings with regard to identifying and blocking encrypted websites.
"In order to effectively deal with online child pornographic contents, Government has already initiated steps towards devising a mechanism to securely access Interpol's worst-of-list through Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is the national nodal point for Interpol related activities in the country," Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
He further said that steps are being taken to disable access to such pornographic content on the web with the involvement and co-operation of all stakeholders in the country.
The minister said filtering of websites with obscene and objectionable content poses significant technical challenge.
"These websites keep on changing names, domain addresses and hosting platforms from time to time making it difficult to filter or block such websites using technical tools available in the market," Mr Prasad said.
Further, he said 'https' websites with encrypted content are used to transmit the pornographic content which makes filtering difficult as the data is encrypted.
"Therefore, the tools provide filtering to a limited extent only. The tools, in the process may also filter genuine content and degrade the performance of systems," he said.
Mr Prasad added that social networking sites are monitored by the security agencies in order to check or remove objectionable content from websites in consultation with Indian Computer Emergency Team (CERT-In).
"Government is in regular touch with social networking sites, having their offices in India, to disable objectionable content at the source from their websites," Mr Prasad said.
The Government has also initiated research and development programmes to deal with technical issues relating to encrypted communications from the point of monitoring and blocking.
The Cyber Regulation Advisory Committee (CRAC), which has members from all sections of society including government, industry, civil society and academy, in its meeting held on September 5, 2014 discussed issues relating to availability of pornography material on the internet and filtering of the same by ISPs.
CRAC requested Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) to collect and maintain the repository of blacklisted pornography sites from various sources including list of child pornography sites maintained by other countries, Mr Prasad said.