Modi-led govt on a lookout for options to block Facebook, WhatsApp during crisis

Sneha Yadav
Aug 07, 2018 06:09 IST

In an attempt to curb fake news and child pornography, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has asked inputs from various telecom providers to suggest ways in which social media applications like Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram can be blocked in case of an emergency.

In a letter dated July 18 DoT had said that the ministry of electronics and IT and law enforcement agencies have raised issues around blocking of certain mobile apps like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Telecom, etc to meet requirement under Section 69A of IT Act.

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Ahead of the 2019 assembly election, the government is taking every possible measures to fight the fake news phenomenon which has gained prominence these days leading to sharp and violent reactions. However, as of yet, there are no options provided by the telcos marked in the mail with the likes of telecom giants like Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, etc.

In the recent times, many crisis have been sparked due to social media apps including mob lynching due to rumors such as beef consumption and child abduction happening in any particular areas. There has also been instances of crisis wherein rumors spread through social media have added to the panic and confusion.

How the government proceeds thereon to fight this issue will be critical in curtailing such crimes.

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