NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday expressed concern over the rise in the number of pornography sites on Internet and directed the Centre to find out a solution to the problem after the government virtually expressed its helplessness, saying “if we block one site, another crops up”.
The court noted that technology always moves at a pace faster than the law, yet there has to be a coordination between law and governance to match the pace of technological changes to check pornography websites.
The observation by the Bench of Chief Justice R M Lodha came when Additional Solicitor General L Nageshwara Rao pointed out the Centre’s difficulty in blocking pornography websites and told that when one is blocked, another surfaces.
“Human mind is very fertile and technology runs faster than law. Law has to keep pace with technology,” the Bench remarked.
The Centre informed the court that there are about 40 million pornography websites. Senior counsel Vijay Panjwani told the court that in the last 18 months, since the court started hearing the PIL seeking the blocking of the pornography websites, not one website has been blocked.
“If we block one site, other crops up. There are also hidden servers in the country and it is difficult to control them. All social media are being operated from foreign land,” Rao said, adding that parental control software should be provided to keep indecent material on net away from children.
Petitioner Kamlesh Vaswani has urged the court to direct the Centre to block pornography websites, platforms, links, or downloading by whatever other internet means or name in order to prevent easy access to the offensive content whether in private or public.
The extent of objectionable material that is shown on porn websites was highlighted by Panjwani when he told the court “pornography shown on these websites is not just obscene but an aggravated form of obscenity. What is shown in Khajuraho and Ajanta Ellora is just child’s play”.
Panjwani told the court that even Britain has banned 12 specific activities on the websites.