Skip to main content

India eyes ways to block Facebook, WhatsApp

New Delhi: Consider it as a step ahead towards the dictatorship of far right ruling party. The government has asked telecom operators and internet service providers to suggest ways to block social media apps such as Facebook and WhatsApp during emergencies, a move the industry says will be difficult to enforce and violate the fundamental right of speech and expression.
In an 18 July letter, the department of telecommunications (DoT) wrote to companies including Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, and industry associations, requesting them to “explore various possible options and confirm how Instagram/Facebook/WhatsApp/Telegram and such other mobile apps can be blocked on internet.” Mint has seen a copy of the letter.

They were asked to submit inputs by 20 July.

“In our submission, we have said such an exercise would be extremely difficult to do. In this day and age, how can you shut down the internet especially as many travel bookings and financial transactions etc. are on the internet,” a person aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.

DoT issues instructions to internet service providers to block websites based either on a court order or on the directions of the cyber law division of the ministry of electronics and information Technology (Meity). In this case, DoT, has merely initiated a discussion based on a letter received from Meity, a DoT official said. “There is no move to block any apps. Meity has told DoT that blocking such apps during emergency... situations is difficult, and hence there is a need for a reasonably good solution to protect national security,” the official said, requesting anonymity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LG’s first flexible OLED phone due before the year is out

LG plans to launch a flexible OLED smartphone before the end of the year, the company’s VP of mobile has confirmed, though it’s unclear to what extent the work-in-progress handset will actually flex. The OLED panel in question is the handiwork of LG Display according to VP of LG mobile Yoon Bu-hyun, the WSJ  reports, with the proposed device set to launch sometime in Q4. LG Display’s work on flexible OLEDs has been underway for some time, though the company’s efforts have perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by rival Samsung’s YOUM development. Last year, according to a Korea Times report, LG Display was preparing for

Syrian Electronic Army claims credit for CBS Twitter accounts hack

Yesterday, several of CBS ’s Twitter accounts were hacked, including its main account, and its accounts for 60 Minutes, 48 Hours, and CBS Denver. The hackers got into the account and tweeted a series of things relating to President Obama and the United States being in cahoots with Al-Qaeda . The tweets also had links that led users to malware-infested sites. While CBS was able to regain access to its accounts, it was unable to figure out who was behind the attacks, until now. The Syrian Electronic Army , the same group that hacked 3 of the BBC’s Twitter accounts, claimed

Can Technology Do a Better Job of Finding Bombs?

 With the horrifying images of the Boston Marathon bombing still much too fresh in our minds, and with citywide marathons coming up this weekend in London, Hamburg, and Salt Lake City , law enforcement officers and citizens everywhere are asking how to prevent the tragedy from being repeated. As Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs adjunct professor Abraham Wagner observed last year, on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, there’s “no magic bullet o