Amid concerns voiced by Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and director Intelligence Bureau Nehchal Sandhu on the use of social media networking for fanning communal violence at the police chiefs conference, the government has sent notices to four Twitter account holders asking them to represent their case before a committee on September 10.
The four account holders are among 28 Twitter handles which were blocked by the government agencies for posting objectionable content related to Assam on the Internet.
Claiming that their twitter accounts were observed to have hosted information of inflammatory and hateful nature meant to incite violence, the notice sent by Gulshan Rai, director general of Indian Computer Emergency Response Team, sought to know why such information had not been blocked despite directions.
If the account holders fail to reply or their replies prove unsatisfactory, their accounts could be blocked and criminal proceedings could be initiated against them, sources said.
Sources said the government has also asked Google and Facebook to provide full details of account holders who had posted objectionable content on the net. The government’s concern on the inherent dangers of social media networking sites and Internet found a strong reflection in Shinde address to the top police brass.
Asking police forces to develop skills for locating malicious content and also identify those responsible for posting it, Shinde said, “Besides providing a pervasive infrastructure for discreet communication, cyberspace is proving to be a facilitator for malevolents seeking to enlist new recruits and to purvey a distorted version of the reality.”
Citing the Assam violence as an example, Nehchal Sandhu, director IB, said, “Tempers were maintained at a high level due to the malicious content on the Internet but nothing has been done. There is a strong case for police forces to develop capacity, not just to keep track of postings on the net but also to identify those responsible for them.”