NEW DELHI: The Army is going all-out to stop its personnel from falling into honey traps and has identified about 100 men who are on social media and present a danger to the force.
“We have identified about 100 men and put their activities under intensive and extensive observation,” said a senior Army officer on Monday.
"We have reasons to believe that they may have been already compromised and shared sensitive information with unauthorised persons,” he said.
The Army had a few days ago expressly directed personnel on the force not to join any social media like the Facebook and Twitter, besides chat groups like WhatsApp since they could turn out to be the medium to leak sensitive details.
The Army believes there is a pro-active enemy conspiracy to use social media to profile, segregate and trap personnel in uniform and seek details which compromise national security.
What makes the job difficult, as accepted by the officer, is that every year about 50,000 youth joins the Army at the average age of 20 years.
“They are the most vulnerable lot.”
The Army Chief had in January warned of a ploy by enemy operatives using pictures and names of female Bollywood actors to befriend soldiers.
Technological advances and almost free mobile and internet services have made things even more difficult.
“Pakistan-based agencies operate a large number of fake Facebook and Twitter accounts and also infiltrate social media groups or contact individuals in the name of young girls. Their aim is to actively try and befriend serving and retired officials and subsequently try to nurture, allure, blackmail and coerce them into parting with sensitive information,” the officer said.
He said the newer mobile phones are loaded with sophisticated software which not only click clear pictures from afar but can also provide quick scans of documents and help share them faster.
In March 2018, the then MoS, Defence, Subhash Bhamre had told the Lok Sabha that in between 2015-18, five cases of honey-trapping had been detected.
July 13, 2019: Army jawan Ravindra Kumar arrested from Narnaul, Haryana.
May 15, 2019: A havildar arrested in Mhow, MP.
Jan 11, 2019: Sepoy Sombir Singh, 22, arrested from Jaisalmer.
Feb 2, 2018: Group Captain Arun Marwah held in Delhi.