Crackdown on objectionable content only, says Home Ministry

Published: 25th August 2012 10:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2012 10:37 AM   |  A+A-

The Centre on Friday clarified its crackdown on social media and said that only accounts that have posted objectionable and inflammatory content are being blocked. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said others should not to be concerned.

“We are taking strict action only in cases where damage has been done by websites or rumours have been spread. We are not taking action against Facebook, Twitter or even SMSes. There is no censorship at all. We decided on taking action because there were pictures of Myanmar online, which created panic in the country,” Shinde said.

Fourteen URLs containing morphed videos and images of the Myanmar riot were blocked by the Ministry of Communication and Information and Technology on the direction of the Home Ministry.

Shinde said that action will be taken against those who have engaged in inciting people. Sources said that after the uproar over the blocking of several twitter accounts, including those of journalists, the ministry is mulling to decentralise internet gateways to make it security-friendly through which law enforcement agencies can get access to remove the content rather than blocking the account.

“This arrangement was discussed with service providers and host websites. Since they do not want to spend money, the entire expenditure will have to be borne by the Centre, but that is possible,” sources said.

A senior intelligence officer said blocking the account is not a solution because miscreants may find some other way to spread rumours and objectionable content. The host website should be asked to monitor and remove the content similar to what they are doing in China.

The Centre is also mulling over bringing a telecom security policy for international players, including social networking websites and online content providers.


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