“IT IS IMPORTANT TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA AGENCIES ACCOUNTABLE AND RESPONSIBLE”: LOK SABHA SPEAKER
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“THERE IS NEED TO HAVE CREDIBLE CYBER SECURITY REGULATIONS TO PREVENT MISUSE BY TERRORISTS AND CRIMINALS”: LOK SABHA SPEAKER
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“LOK SABHA SPEAKER CALLS UPON INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO EVOLVE CONSENSUS FOR GLOBAL BAN ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY”
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Camp, Ottawa (Canada), 09 January 2020: Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla, while speaking at the Workshop on the topic ‘Security of Individuals in the Parliamentary Context and Beyond’ at the 25th Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth (CSPOC), observed that the advent of the internet and various social networking tools have brought forth new changes in the way Parliaments get connected and engaged with the people. He expressed the view that the growth of Internet has indeed been a boon for the Parliaments since the digital technology has enabled them to develop and modernize complex activities that help the Members to keep a constant eye on the legislative business. He noted that the Indian Parliament has dynamic websites rich in content that provides comprehensive information about the legislative proceedings – questions and debates, bills, members, parliamentary committee reports, etc. Further, the development of e-sansad and e-vidhan , besides making them more efficient, is also transforming the way people’s representatives are fulfilling their responsibilities.
Observing that the expansion of social media has transcended regional boundaries and connected Parliaments and peoples across the globe , Shri Birla said that social networking helps in furthering good governance, exposing corruption and checking the misuse of power by the governments. Shri Birla also said that digital means have not only increased the reach of the general public to the parliamentary activities and documents but have also increased transparency and accountability, ensuring better access to public services provided by the Governments.
Shri Birla cautioned that the expansion of websites and applications related to social media have become an integral part of our lives but at the same time, it has increased the risk of misuse of cyberspace. He noted that while on the one side, this has empowered the people, on the other side, it has created challenges to deal with cyber crime. He underlined that social media poses some serious challenges to the society such as cyber bullying, hacking, addiction, frauds, security-related issues, and health issues. The threat of hacking of these new information technologies by anti-social elements poses a constant challenge. Also, the ability to conceal one’s identity and non-existence of regional boundaries is a matter of concern in cyber security since terrorists and criminals uses these to commit data theft, identity theft and to create malicious software. This has necessitated the need for having credible cyber security regulations to prevent their misuse by terrorists and criminals.
Shri Birla stressed that it is important that social media agencies are made more accountable and responsible to follow the laws of their respective countries. In this regard, Shri Birla said that India has a well-developed Cyber Security Policy that is in tune with national security and economic development. To deal with ever increasing challenges, the country is developing new encryption technologies and privacy policies.
Lok Sabha Speaker highlighted that, to eradicate sexual exploitation of children, several changes in the existing laws in India are being brought forth so that the perpetrators get harsher punishment. Further, child pornography has also been made punishable. He called upon international community to develop a consensus for a global ban on child pornography.
Later, Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Om Birla and Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha Shri Harivansh attended the discussions at the 'Lightening Hour' wherein Speakers from Commonwealth countries shared their views in interactive sessions on diverse issues like financial autonomy of Legislatures, parliamentary practices and procedures, etc.