To report 'anti-national activities' and illegal content, govt looks for cyber volunteers

To curb child pornography, rape, terrorism, radicalisation and anti-national activities, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched a new programme under which citizens can participate as volunteers to identify, flag and report such content to the government.

According to a report by the Indian Express, the MHA will first start this programme in Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura on a trial basis, and depending on feedback the programme will be later implemented in other states.

The report further states that MHA’s Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) will act as a nodal point and the volunteers can register themselves with their states or union territories to act as cyber volunteers.

The programme to recruit such cyber volunteers was launched by the Union Home Ministry for “facilitating law enforcement agencies in identifying, reporting and removal of illegal/unlawful online content”.

Meanwhile, the MHA on its website said that volunteers who register for this programme are “prohibited from using the name or claiming association” with the ministry on any public platform.

The Ministry has asked volunteers to not use the programme for any commercial gain either or issue any public statement about their association with the programme. "Volunteer shall maintain strict confidentiality of task assigned/carried out by him /her, as a part of this programme," MHA said on its website.

The Ministry further said that state Nodal Officer of States and UTs also reserves the right to take legal action "against the Volunteer, in case of violation of terms and conditions of Cyber Volunteer Programme."

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