The telecom office has looked for perspectives of the industry on specialized measures that can be embraced for blocking portable applications like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram and other social media applications in circumstances where national security and public order are under threat.
The department of telecom (DoT) on July 18, 2018, had written to all telecom operators – the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and others – to request contributions on obstructing the applications under Section 69A of the IT Act which talks about power to issue directions for blocking for public access to any information.
“DoT in the letter had said that the ministry of electronics and IT and law enforcement agencies have raised an issue around blocking of certain mobile apps like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telecom, etc to meet the requirement under Section 69A of IT Act,” an official source told PTI.
The following steps are taken because there have been widespread incidents of mob lynching in the country based on rumours spread through social media apps(WhatsApp) that resulted in incitement of mob fury. This created a huge fuss among different communities within the territory and resulted to mass protest! “READ MORE ABOUT FUSS”
The government had also expressed dissatisfaction over measures previously listed by WhatsApp for checking the fake news and warned that in the absence of adequate checks, it will treat the messaging platform as ‘abettor’ of rumour propagation and legal consequences will be followed.
WhatsApp while reverting to the government notice stated, it is building a local team, including India’s head, as part of steps to check fake news circulation thereby improving its platform to work closely with others in society to help and keep people safe.
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