Uttar Pradesh police have recently said that under the new initiative implemented by the state, the police department will keep a check on the people who browse for pornographic content in the state online. It is said that those who will be caught surfing the same, will be warned and their digital data will be taken into consideration as well.
The department says that this is an initiative to reduce crime against women since several cases were seen to be inspired by pornographic content. This is not the first time that India has seen a restriction in the browsing of pornographic content. In fact, since 2015, the Department of Telecom has asked network service providers to ban more than 800 porn websites in an effort to reduce cybercrime.
What Is The Initiative By UP Police?
As per the protocol, web users will initially get a pop-up alert upon browsing a pornographic website via the 1090 Women Powerline wing service of UP Police. The message will supposedly be a warning to the user saying that their data will be recorded by the police.
The department has also planned a social media awareness drive on websites like Facebook and Instagram to make people more aware of the ‘service’. A senior police official said that the move is important to “monitor the adolescents who are highly vulnerable to such content affecting their mind and behaviour.”
The ‘digital chakravyuh’ will make use of techniques like predictive analysis, psychometric profiling, and creating awareness among youngsters to prevent crimes against women.
Is This The Only Solution?
Pornographic content is very easily available on the internet. For several years, the people of the country have been actively saying that porn websites and their easy accessibility are one of the main reasons that crimes against women in the country are increasing. While it surely does play a factor, the root of the problems is not porn websites.
In 2017, Dehradun High Court asked network providers to take down 857 porn websites after a 15-year old girl was raped by her seniors, inspired by porn videos. While it cannot be denied that easy access to porn is a problem the country needs to tackle, we are forgetting the deep roots that patriarchy has laid into society.
Sexual crimes against women are still very much there even after the country banned several porn websites. Moreover, watching porn as such is not unhealthy unless and until it leads to an obsession. India has always considered the topics of sex and sexuality a taboo and thus has never had a positive outlook towards pornographic content.
While many also browse through porn in a very ethical and moral sense, keeping a tab on one’s browsing history is definitely an invasion of privacy. While the move by the police department is lauded, people are failing to look at the invasion of privacy in this case.
Especially with rising concerns of privacy in lieu of WhatsApp’s new policy, Indians have surely taken a stand for their privacy. But it’s ironic how any move related to curbing sexual freedom is not considered to be an invasion of privacy.
It is time we understand that not all crimes stem from pornographic content. It is the ideology of the people that needs to be changed. People must be educated to browse such content in a healthy manner rather than making it a taboo.
While the intention of the UP police department is definitely to keep women safe, they must also understand that tracking browsing data and invading the privacy of the people is not the way to stop these crimes. What do you think about sexual freedom in India? Let us know by commenting below!
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