Introduction of the Laws against Cyber Pornography: – Anyone who wants to access the internet may now do so due to the technological revolution, which has been both a benefit and a burden for our particular society. This makes the government responsible for safeguarding the general public against various wrongs.
So, preventing the negative effects of technological advancement falls under the purview of the state Pornography, or the visual depiction of arousing a viewer’s sexual desire through carnal acts is relatively easily accessible online. It has no distinction between consensual and non-consensual sexually explicit content and is accessible in both hardcore and softcore versions, drastically concealing the necessity for regulation, which is the drawback of the evolving technology.
Thus, the central question in the discussion is whether the government has the authority to interfere in and impose restrictions on pornographic material. If so, how much, and if not, why not?
Pornography is legally defined as “obscenity“. The term obscene still hasn’t been described in the IPC because the definition of obscenity varies from community to community from time to time.
However, the test of obscenity established in the historic English judgment, the Hickling Case, serves as the foundation for the test of obscenity provided in sec 292 of the IPC. Because terms like ‘obscene‘ are undefined, their interpretation can vary from conservative to liberal. Pornography is considered an extremely serious type of obscenity in India.
The act of using the digital world to create, display, distribute, import, or publish pornography or obscene materials, particularly materials prominently featuring children having sexual intercourse with adults, is known as cyber pornography. It is a result of technological advancement, as with the easy accessibility of the internet, individuals can now stream large numbers of porn on their cell phones, laptop computers, tablets, and so on as much as they want without fear of being caught.
When children are involved and child pornographic material is depicted on the internet, cyber pornography becomes a criminal offense.
Rise of Porn
People can watch pornographic content without being concerned about being caught due to easy access to the internet. Previously, people had to purchase all pornographic media in the form of magazines, photographs, and other printed materials. Today, however, anyone can access this type of media whenever they want and without ever having to disclose their identity. There has been a sudden increase in sexually explicit content and its desire on the internet recently as a result of how simple it is to access porn sites these days. According to estimates from 2014, the American porn industry generates more than $13 billion annually.
Laws against online pornography
India has laws that prohibit online pornography
The Information and Technology Act of 2000 (IT Act, 2000), the Indian Penal Code, the Indecent Representation of Women’s Act of 1986, the Young Person’s (Harmful Publication) Act, and the POSCO Act are just a few of the laws that govern cyber pornography in India.
Following is a discussion of provisions relating to cyber pornography under a few of these acts: –
Information Technology, Act of 2000
The IT Act’s Section 67 addresses the publication of pornographic material online. Electronic depictions of children in a sexually explicit manner that is published, created, downloaded, browsed, or shared are liable to be punished with a 5-year prison sentence, and Rs. 10-lakh fine, or both.
Books, pamphlets, papers, writings, drawings, paintings, representations, and figures in electronic form that are used for religious purposes or that are in the interest of science, literature, art, or training are exempt from the provisions of sections 67 and 67A. In general, it does not define or criminalize pornography specifically. For engaging in sexually explicit electronic or online content that features children, Sec 67B lays out the sanctions. Inducing children into sexual activity or into relationships online is prohibited as well.
Indecent Representation of Women Act of 1986
This Act forbids the representation of women or any part of a woman’s body that affects public moral principles and decency.
Act of 2012 for the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences
Anyone who uses a child in any type of media for sexual pleasure is culpable of the crime of child pornography, as per Sec13 of the POCSO Act. In contrast, section 14 outlines punishments for using a child in a pornographic manner.
A Constitutional and Social Approach
Indian Cyber Pornography: A Constitutional and Social Approach
U/A 19(2) of the Indian Constitution, which allows the State to enforce reasonable restrictions on the Freedom of speech & expression on grounds including public security, decency, & morality, the entire scope of Indian law relating to obscenity has been upheld as valid.
The only legal ruling on the subject of the conflict between obscenity & freedom of speech and expression acknowledged that the cherished right upon which our democracy is based is intended for the expression of unrestricted opinions in order to transform social or political circumstances as well as for the development of the human knowledge.
This legislative and judicial approach has totally failed to interpret how viewing and enjoying sexually explicit material infringes public morality & ethics. The theoretical approach appears to be negatively affecting the principle, but the state has yet to ascertain what kind of harm can be done to society’s public decency as well as moral integrity simply by the personal actions of certain consensual adults in watching & viewing sexually explicit material.
Pornographic content that uses minors is entirely against public decency & moral integrity and encourages indecent exposure toward minors in the community because minors below the age of 18 are incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions.
India has passed legislation that forbids the use of cyberpornography in the interests of public ethics, and moral integrity. Despite these laws, it has been simple to access all types of pornographic material online.
Such nonconsensual sexually explicit content, which includes child pornography, MMS, video content of sexual offenses, and so on, must be prevented before approaching the internet as it is a very vast and easily accessible platform by people of all ages and all different types, and it not only defames the individual but it is also used by sexual predators to extort money or contact children who are used for child pornographic material and trade them for sexual services.
According to liberal ideologies, consenting adult content is considered prostitution, which is an occupation. As a result, it cannot be entirely condemned if it does not endanger public order or moral standards.
It is challenging to accept perhaps consensual explicit content because pornography is regarded as an aggravating type of obscenity in India, but this needs to change. We must completely and strictly prohibit non-consensual pornographic internet content on all platforms in order to preserve our dignity while maintaining reasonable restrictions on our freedom in light of the changing times.
As a developing country, we are no longer able to adhere to conservative ideologies or continue to place all of our freedom of choice in the hands of the government.