I4C now empowered to send take down orders; to streamline takedown process for illegal betting portals

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The Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) has been empowered to send takedown orders to intermediaries when it comes to any digital content being used for illegal purposes, a gazette notification issued under Section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act, 2000 by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.

I4C was established by MHA, in New Delhi to provide a framework and eco-system for Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) for dealing with Cybercrime in a coordinated and comprehensive manner

Until now, different ministries and enforcement agencies worked directly with intermediaries and sent takedown orders.

The safe harbour provision protects platforms against liability from third-party content on the platform. Section 79 of the IT Act details the safe harbour exceptions available to intermediaries, and also details exceptions where the provision will not apply on intermediaries.

Notably, in July last year, the Centre also amended the IGST Act, which makes it mandatory for all offshore gaming companies to be registered in India. Furthermore, the GST enactment also gave the Centre the power to block websites that are not registered and are violating laws.

Apart from illegal portal Mahadev, some of the apps that were earlier banned include Parimatch, Fairplay, 1XBET, Lotus365, Dafabet and Betwaysatta. The designation of I4C as the nodal agency to send take down orders will make it easier in coordination and streamlining processes for taking down illegal betting websites violating Indian laws, for example.

Explaining the update a senior official was quoted in media reports saying that previously, law enforcement agencies (LEAs) faced delays in addressing sensitive and unlawful online content due to the need to contact multiple agencies and platforms. This fragmented approach hindered timely action.

Online users can directly report financial frauds including gaming related crimes to I4C, National Cybercrime Helpline number 1930. Over 29 lakh complaints have been reported on National Cybercrime Reporting Portal (NCRP) till date, with a daily average of more than 5000 complaints.