fbpx

UP Police to Track Internet Porn Searches in the Name of Women’s Safety

By

Feb 15, 2021

Share

Image Credit: Getty

The Uttar Pradesh police on Saturday announced it has created a team to monitor internet searches for pornographic material. The force has hired a company to “keep an eye” on citizens’ internet searches and keep data of the people who search for porn content. The initiative, the U.P. police force says, is meant to curb crimes against women. 

The initiative assumes that only sex offenders watch porn. It also presumes that pornography and sex crimes are interlinked, despite studies emphasizing the correlation between the two is much more complicated than it appears.

The initiative is also the latest in a string of questionable steps the U.P. police has taken to increase women’s safety. Last month, Lucknow police announced it would use AI-enabled cameras to track women’s facial expressions to determine if they are in distress. The move was severely criticised by researchers and policymakers who said such monitory could lead to over-policing and unnecessary harassment by the police. 

In India, pornography is banned by the government, but the initial stages of the lockdown last year saw a 95% rise in viewership. The U.P. police’s internet search tracking plan is being piloted in six of the state’s districts. The monitoring will now be carried out across the state, which currently has about 11.6 million internet users. 

The U.P. police has outsourced its monitoring of porn searches to  the company Oomuph. If Oomuph spots an internet user consuming pornography, the police’s analytics team will receive information on the user and search. Porn searches on the internet will also now yield an “awareness message” that searchers are being tracked by the police.. 


Related on The Swaddle:

Research Into Porn’s Detrimental Effects Is Conflicting


“By doing this, the crime will be stopped at the initial process itself,” said Neera Rawat in a press conference. Rawat is the additional director general of 1090, the U.P. police’s helpline for crimes against women, which is leading the porn search tracking efforts. “If a woman is still being molested, then 1090 will take action.” 

“The date of such people will be with the police…. It will help the police in nabbing the offender if any incident of crime against the women takes place in the area,” added Rawat. 

The helpline team has launched what it calls a ‘digital chakravyuha‘ to deal with sexual harassment in the state. This includes psychometric profiling, predictive analysis, creating awareness among people, and encouraging community participation of the community to prevent crimes against women. 

Share

Written By Satviki Sanjay

Satviki Sanjay is an editorial intern at The Swaddle. She’s currently studying philosophy at Miranda House. When not studying, she can be found writing about gender, internet culture, sexuality, technology, and mental health. She loves talking to people, and you can always find her on Instagram @satvikii.

Share

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields *.

The latest in health, gender & culture in India -- and why it matters. Delivered to your inbox weekly.