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New Delhi: India’s police and other law enforcement agencies are using a US-based centralised reporting system on child pornography and child sexual abuse for dealing with cases related to them in the country and nab the offenders, officials said.

The access to one lakh-plus Tipline reports prepared by America’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) has helped check the growing number of cases of child pornography and child sexual abuse across the country, they said.

When a citizen gives a tip about a crime to law enforcement agencies through a dedicated number or website, it automatically gets converted into a report for action making it as ‘Tipline report’.

The agencies never ask the caller’s name or any other identity, and he or she can remain anonymous.

The NCMEC, which is the United States’ centralised reporting system for online exploitation of children, has been sharing these tipline reports with India following an agreement it signed with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) three years ago.

The NCMEC’s tipline reports are very helpful as police and law enforcement agencies are getting success in dealing with cases of child pornography and child sexual abuse, a home ministry official said.

As per the standard operating procedures, when a content related to child pornography is brought to the notice of the NCMEC, either by informers through helplines or by the internet service providers, the input is verified by the agency and the possible location of the suspect is traced.

A tipline report is then generated and is made available to the concerned law enforcement agencies, which in India’s case is the NCRB.

After receiving it, the NCRB sends information to state police authorities from where it is further directed to individual police jurisdictions.

Till 2021 end, over one lakh tipline reports were received from the NCMEC on child pornography or child sexual exploitation content posted online from India, the official said.

India’s police and other land enforcement agencies take action against the offenders as per the reports.

According to the official data, there were just 3,377 reported cyber crimes in 2012 which has gone up to lakhs now.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah had recently said that the home ministry’s cyber crime reporting portal received 11 lakh complaints, including over two lakh related to social media.

“This is going to increase in the coming days, because currently, 80 crore Indians are active online. This is a big number and as the prices of data go down, there will be more users,” Shah said.

The central government also periodically blocks the websites containing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) based on the Interpol’s worst of list received through the national nodal agency for Interpol in India.

The concerned Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have also worked out a suitable arrangement for receiving Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), UK list of CSAM websites or web pages on a dynamic basis and block access to child pornography web pages and websites.

The home ministry’s National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal http://www.cybercrime.gov.in provides a centralised mechanism to the citizens for online reporting of all types of cyber crime incidents, with a special focus on cyber crimes against women and children.

Incidents reported on this portal are automatically routed to the state and UT law enforcement agencies.

A toll-free helpline number ‘1930’ has also been in operation to get assistance in lodging cyber complaints online.

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