Over 9,500 web pages and online accounts blocked last year in India

Blocking of websites, webpages and accounts over security concerns has risen significantly in recent years, according to official data.

February 22, 2021 / 07:45 PM IST
A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration - RTX35OSE

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017. Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration - RTX35OSE

The government blocked 9,849 websites, webpages and accounts in 2020 under, rising sharply from 3,635 in the previous year, according to a reply to the Lok Sabha on February 3, 2021.

The action was taken under section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act to safeguard digital security of people and the country.

The number of websites, webpages or accounts blocked in has grown significantly over the last five years, official data shows.

blocked_webpages_websites

As reported earlier, the government on February 4 had asked social media platform--Twitter to take down 1,178 accounts with links to Pakistan and Khalistan supporters that were spreading misinformation and provocative content related to farmers' protest. While previously it had also sought blocking of 257 tweets and handles in connection with the agitation by farmers over the new agricultural laws.

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“Section 69A of the IT Act empowers Government to block any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above,” the government told parliament on February 3.

Under the provisions of section 69A of the IT Act, the government had blocked over 200 mobile apps last year, citing national security concerns.
Chaitanya Mallapur
first published: Feb 22, 2021 07:45 pm

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