The Centre on Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that a committee of computer and other experts has been set up to probe cases of suicides caused allegedly by the ‘Blue Whale’ challenge game, which has been linked to the deaths of several children across the globe.
The government also informed a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar that they have issued directions to Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Microsoft, and Yahoo to ensure that all links of ‘Blue Whale’ and similar games are immediately removed from their platforms. Appearing for the Centre, its counsel, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, said that the internet majors have assured them that they would abide by this direction.
Meanwhile, Yahoo India also filed its response on a plea that sought directions to social networking sites such as Facebook, Google, and Yahoo to remove the links to the game.
In its response, Yahoo said that its internal policies and terms of services, already explicitly directs users and prohibit uploading any content that is unlawful and harmful. This is especially with regard to any act that could harm a minor.
The ASG has submitted reports stating that they are probing the case at the international level regarding the origin, circulation and other related facts of the game. “We have set up a high-level committee under the Chairmanship of Director General Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), which will investigate all cases where suicides have been committed or attempted allegedly using ‘Blue Whale Challenge game’. Soon, we will file its final reports,” Jain added. According to the government’s compliance report, “This committee will carry out thorough technical analysis of PCs/ laptops /mobile devices seized by the police and TSP (Telecom Service Provider) network analysis, other forensic analytic team, as deemed necessary and submit its report within 30 days.”
- The Centre’s response came in the backdrop of the court’s direction to place before it the steps taken to comply with the Madras High Court direction to ban the ‘Blue Whale’ game.