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Govt wants vetting tools to curb social media ‘misuse’
Tribune News Service

The strategy

Formulation of a policy to prevent misuse of Internet and social media

Setting up a cyber surveillance agency to forewarn government about malicious content

New Delhi, September 16
The Government has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to lead a group of ministries in forming a policy to prevent misuse of the Internet and social media. A cyber surveillance agency will be set up to forewarn the Government about malicious content.

This is part of a three-pronged strategy formed after communally offensive morphed pictures and videos played havoc across the country July onwards. These decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by the National Security Adviser hwere officials from the MHA, the PMO and intel agencies took stock of the situation.

The Home Ministry has been asked to authorise the Intelligence Bureau, Defence Research and Development Organisation and three others to monitor the web and social media services for malicious content that could possibly have law and order implications.

The MHA will involve several departments in preparing guidelines and standard operating procedures for dealing with malicious use of cyberspace. This will include spreading awareness about existing legal framework besides booking troublemakers under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Technical back-up will be provided by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, which will prepare a comprehensive policy paper outlining the structure, mandate and tasking of the proposed mechanism for responding to malicious use of the Internet. India has already told the US that websites based on its soil will be covered under Indian laws, specifically Section 153 of the IPC.

A system will be put in place that will have agencies empowered to intervene in real time in case of any offensive Internet posts. A new legal regime will define and deter malicious use of the Internet.





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