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5 Year Prison term for watching Internet Porn

From Pakistan’s Daily times

 

Internet pornography becomes serious crime in India

* New law allows inspectors to raid and arrest suspects without warrant

By Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: A new law introduced in India has made Internet pornography a serious crime.

Browsing or downloading pornographic pictures or films will now attract a punishment of five years with a fine of up to Rs 1 million. The term may be raised to seven years on second offence.

Raid: The Information Technology (Amendment) Bill that was passed without debate by parliament this week with 45 amendments in the original law treats both purveyors of pornography and recipients in the same manner. It gives wide powers to the authorities that a computer user may realise only when he is hauled up. The worst is that an inspector can raid and arrest an accused without a warrant.

In the original law enacted in 2000, this power was vested in officers of the rank of deputy superintendent of police and above.

Some websites automatically open with pornographic pictures that might leave footprints in a user’s computer that would be enough for an inspector to arrest and prosecute the person.

To satisfy the activists who campaign against child abuse, the bill provides a full section subtitled ‘punishment for publishing or transmitting of material depicting children in sexually explicit act, etc in electronic form’.

If any of these are found on a computer, the onus is on the owner to establish that the depicted are not children or will be punished. Another section of the bill provides for any government agency to interrupt, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer.

Ambiguity has been kept in the provision that empowers the cyber security to monitor the Internet traffic.

Introducing any ‘contaminant’ in a computer or network is covered in the new category of ‘cyber terrorism’ in the bill that would attract imprisonment and might extend to life term since it claims “such conduct causes or is likely to cause death or injuries to persons or damages to or destruction of property”. It does not explain how a computer crime could cause death or injuries.

Cyber terrorism also seeks to cover other acts of terrorism committed electronically like threatening the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India or to strike terror on the people or to access computer sources that are restricted for reasons of security of the state or foreign relations.

The bill also provides for punishment with a jail term of up to three years and a fine for sending any information — that is grossly offensive or has menacing character or is known to be false — for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred or ill will, or any electronic mail or message meant to cause annoyance or inconvenience or to deceive or mislead the addressee or recipient.t.

Identity theft to misuse a person’s electronic signature, password or any other unique identification feature or impersonation in electronic activity are punishable with a three-year imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 0.1 million.

Thefts of computer source codes and programmes have also been dealt with in the bill.

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