Govt taking action on inflammatory content in social media that hurts religious sentiment, case by case

25 March 2017, 02:53 PM
Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad
Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad

The Central government is taking action on case-to-case basis on inflammatory content in social media that hurts religious sentiment and incites communal hatred.

Minister for Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad has informed the Rajya Sabha that whenever any inflammatory, harmful and hateful content on various social networking sites is brought to the notice of the government by the security and intelligence agencies, action is taken under the Information Technology Act, 2000.

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Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Rajya Sabha: “Instances of misuse of social media to hurt religious sentiment and create communal hatred in the country have come to the notice of the government from time to time. Such behaviour in cyberspace is facilitated by virtual and borderless nature of technology.”

“On a case-to-case basis, the concerned social media platforms are also approached for removal or blocking of the specifics,” the minister said.

The IT Act has the provisions for removal of objectionable online content. Also, the IT (intermediary guidelines) Rules 2011 under Section 79 of the IT Act require that the intermediaries should observe due diligence while discharging their duties and inform the users of computer resources not to host, display, upload, transmit or share any information that is harmful and objectionable.

In another reply, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, PP Chaudhary said 50,362 cyber security incidents were observed during 2016, as per data tracked by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In). This compares to 49,455 such incidents in the previous year.

The types of cyber security attacks include phishing, website intrusions and defacement, virus and malicious codes.

The minister also added that 201 websites hosted on NICNET have been defaced since 2014. Currently, about 8,000 websites are hosted on NICNET.

To another question, Chaudhary said as many as 19 proposals have been received from smartphone makers for product manufacturing with financial support from the Modified Special Incentive Package Scheme (M-SIPS). These include proposals from Lava International, Flextronics, Intex Technologies and Oppo Mobiles.

First Published: Saturday, March 25, 2017 02:48 PM
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