The government has blocked two websites that were allegedly being accessed by sympathisers and potential recruits of ISIS. Some pages on the social networking site Facebook, related to Jammu and Kashmir, were also blocked.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting convened by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a nodal agency under the Ministry of Communications, that deals with cyber security threats, like hacking and phishing. Representatives of the Department of Telecom, Home Ministry ,and Central Security Agencies also took part in the meeting.
The government is also trying to ensure that hate content is removed from platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
This year, the government has, so far, blocked 55 to 60 websites, and social networking pages, allegedly related to terror activities.
A senior government official, on condition of anonymity, said, “The CERT-In blocked the websites belonging to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and two Facebook pages which were being run by anonymous people in Jammu and Kashmir, on the request of Intelligence Bureau.”
Meanwhile, minister for telecommunication, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said, steps will be taken to check misuse of social media in order to spoil communal harmony, as well as national security.
It may be noted here, that the arrest of Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a Bengaluru-based executive, for putting up material favouring ISIS, last year, had initially alerted the intelligence agencies about the threat of terror activities on cyberspace.
Many Indian youths, intercepted while travelling to Syria to join the ISIS, were also indoctrinated through online chats. At present, there are around 30,000 such Twitter handles and other social media forums, along with websites, that spew hatred.