A student named Athena Solomon studying in the National Law School Of India University, Bengaluru moved to the High Court of Kerala to seek a ban on the popular messaging platform Telegram for promoting adult content.
According to her, Telegram has become the main and the safest medium to spread vulgar and sexual content specially child pornography and terrorism. It is to be noted that child pornography has been completely banned in India.
Athena Solomon filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition in the Kerala High Court to ban the Telegram app in the country.
Telegram is a cloud-based messaging platform launched in Russia in 2013. The app allows for ‘anonymous bots’ which can be used to send secret messages across the platform without compromising the identity of the sender.
Section 79(3) of the Information Technology Act 2000 states that a company is bound to remove obscene and inappropriate content if asked by the appropriate authorities. According to the petitioner, this act cannot be enforced on Telegram because the messaging platform has no nodal officer or any registered office in India. Moving to other social messaging services in India like WhatsApp and Facebook have their nodal officers and registered office in India, so they can be asked anytime to remove any content.
The law enforcement agencies of India are bound to do something effective. Furthermore, Telegram provides end-to-end encryption feature which makes it almost impossible for authorities to find the culprit behind spreading the inappropriate content.
Cyber police of Kerala had busted a paedophile group which was promoting child pornography, the petitioner said.
For your knowledge, Telegram was banned in Indonesia and Russia in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Even, the Russian authorities ordered Telegram to hand over the encryption keys.
The High Court of Kerala on Friday sought the views of the Central Government on the plea to ban the Telegram app in India.