Govt Policy

To avoid panic, government bans 89 more websites

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The government on Monday ordered the blocking of 89 web pages, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, to avoid panic among northeast migrants living across the country.

The websites have been hosting inflammatory and harmful content, particularly morphed images and videos, which were used to incite Muslims to target people from the northeast. The total number of sites blocked over the issue stands at 250.

The inflammatory content of these websites and anonymous SMSes, warning of an attack following the end of Ramzan, had led to the exodus of northeast migrants from Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

Given that this has turned out be the biggest instance of cyber warfare on India in recent times, the government is also contemplating to take up the findings of the CERT-In ( Computer Emergency Response Team-India) to the international forum.

Over the weekend, the government had directed intermediaries, including national and international social networking sites, to block 156 web pages. Home ministry officials said that more than 130 websites have been blocked till now, while the rest will be blocked shortly.
Stressing on the urgency of the situation, the department called a meeting of representatives of international social networking sites based in India. They were also requested to provide registration details and access logs of the person who uploaded such content.
Most of the online content was posted from as early as July 13, and fake profiles were created for spreading morphed pictures, according to a home ministry report.

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