Sunday 23 September 2018
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2 months ago

India Invites Bids to Create Sex Offenders Registry

The Indian government’s plan to develop a national registry of sexual offenders is raising a slew of concerns, from data breaches to violations of privacy protections, including for individuals who were never convicted of a sexual offense. Expand Schoolgirls participate in a protest rally against the rape of two teenage girls in Chatra and Pakur districts of Jharkhand state, in Ranchi, India May 8, 2018. © 2018 Reuters The proposed national database – the government issued a call for bids in May – will store the name, photo, fingerprints, and personal details of all arrested, charged, and convicted of sexual offenses, including children. The information on convicted offenders will be public while law enforcement agencies will have access to the rest. It will categorize the individuals as “low,” “moderate,” or “high risk.” Whether a person gets added to the sex registry can depend on laws that are archaic and open to misuse to arbitrarily classify suspects. Those deemed “low danger” and “not likely to engage in criminal sexual conduct” will include everyone arrested, charged, and convicted of “Technical Rape,” a term often used by law enforcement to describe consensual sexual activity involving a girl under 18 years old. This means a boy who has consensual sex could be recorded in the database if someone, including the parents of the girl, filed criminal charges. This tier would also include section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes adult consensual same-sex relations, whose constitutionality is currently before the Supreme Court. The record on those deemed “a moderate danger” would include those arrested, charged, or convicted under sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act, which criminalize the publication and distribution of obscene and sexually explicit material, vague legal provisions that are repeatedly misused by police. If the rape or sexual assault

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