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Blocking Social Media in India

Tuesday 7 August 2018

DELHI (Times of India) — The Modi government is finding out how to not only block global social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Instagram but also monitor and decode any information on citizens’ computers and phones during national security threats and law and order crisis. As noted, the government’s actions may be triggered by fears that false news can affect the outcome of the general elections in 2019.

The department of telecom (DoT) has sought the opinion of telecom operators, the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), mobile industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and others associations on how to exercise the powers conferred on it under section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

It is also reported that the Government of India previously applied to Facebook, which owns the WhatsApp messenger, with a demand to take measures against the dissemination of provocative information. This happened after a mass lynching, when the crowd killed people based on rumours that appeared in WhatsApp. Thus, in the beginning of July, a crowd lynched five people in Maharashtra because of rumours spread in the messenger that these persons are involved in the sale of children.

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