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Telecom Majors Impleaded In Plea Seeking Parental Window

The Madurai bench of the Madras high court has suo motu impleaded major telecom operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, BSNL and issued notices to them in response to a petition which sought internet service provider (ISP) companies to provide ‘parental window’ service while using internet.

Earlier, the court had summoned the secretary, department of telecommunications, Aruna Sundararajan and the secretary of Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI) to appear before the court. On Monday, when the petition came up for hearing, Praveen Sharma of Tata Communications, secretary of ISPAI appeared before the court as directed. However, the secretary, Aruna Sundararajan could not appear as per the summons, to which the court initially observed that it is imperative that the secretary appear for an important issue such as this.

Later on, it was submitted to the court that the telecommunications department is not the deciding authority on the regulations after which the court dispensed with the appearance.

S Vijayakumar, a resident of Madurai had moved the court stating that there are restrictions in place in foreign countries on the content to be accessed by children and the same should be replicated here, which would enable parents to regulate content accessed by their children.

A division bench of justice N Kirubakaran and justice S S Sundar noted that there is a spurt in cyber crimes and children and women are targeted and threatened and said that there is a need for sensitization on use of the cyber space.

The secretary of the telecommunications department had issued a circular in 2017 calling upon the internet service providers to spread awareness to their subscribers about the parental control filters. However, it is not clear whether this has been complied with, the court noted.

Adjourning the hearing to April 23, the court dispensed with further appearance of the ISPAI representative along with that of the secretary.―Times of India

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