3 cases against unidentified suspects were registered at Aurangabad police station for allegedly uploading child pornography content to Facebook, according to the Times of India, which also said that this is the first time such a case has been registered in Maharashtra. The police registered the case after receiving data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), per the report.

NCRB shared information of the child pornographic material with Maharashtra’s special inspector general of police, Brijesh Singh, who sent a CD containing the explicit content to the Aurangabad police; subsequently, cases were registered at Cidco, Satara and Cantonment police stations. NCRB got access to this information, courtesy of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with US’ National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the report said.

NCRB’s MoU with NCMEC to tackle child pornography: NCRB’s MoU with NCMEC, signed in April 2019, allows NCRB to access “tipline reports” available with NCMEC about cases of child pornography and child sexual abuse.

  • Whenever someone informs law enforcement agencies about such content, it gets converted into a “tipline report” which can be tracked owing to a unique identity number that is associated with each such report, the TOI reported.
  • The NCRB can then share these reports with other law enforcement agencies in the country. As per the MoU, the NCRB cannot share these reports with anyone apart from government law enforcement agencies.

Recent instances of people arrested for posting child sexual abuse material (CSAM): 

  • In December 2019, a man was arrested in Tamil Nadu for posting child pornography on Facebook. He was accused of sharing such material on the platform for at least the last 4 years.
  • In November 2019, 6 people from Delhi were arrested for posting such content on social media websites. These people were arrested after NCRB shared tipline reports with local police, which it received from the NCMEC following the 2019 MoU.
  • The same month, a man in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal was nabbed for allegedly sharing child pornography on a WhatsApp group. Police stumbled on the WhatsApp group while monitoring online content during assembly elections.

46 cases registered for posting child porn in 2017, per NCRB:  According to NCRB’s 2017 report on cyber crimes in India, a total of 46 cases were registered for publishing material depicting children in a sexually explicit act, with the highest number of cases being registered in Uttar Pradesh (18).

  • Maharashtra (301) had topped the list of states where the most number of cases pertaining to cyberstalking or bullying of women and children.

POCSO was amended to widen definition of child porn: Last year, the definition of child pornography under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Amendment Bill, 2019, was widened to go beyond videos, and include any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a child – including “photograph, video, digital or computer generated image indistinguishable from an actual child, and image created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict a child.”