IT Ministry: A massive digital crackdown was carried out by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) between January 2018 and October 2023, resulting in the blocking of an astounding 36,838 Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). The Information Technology Act’s Section 69A, which was created to uphold public order and national security, is what has been used to enforce the blockage.
IT Ministry blocks over 36,000 URLs
In Parliament, IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar revealed evidence that the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has requested social media companies to restrict 36,838 URLs between October 2018 and October 2023.
Chandrasekhar, in a written response to CPI(M)’s John Brittas, said, “The government issues lawful directions for blocking for access of information by public under section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 which provides power to government to issue such directions if it is necessary or expedient to do so in the interest of sovereignty and integrity, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for inciting cognizable offence relating to above.”
The minister was questioned by the opposition leader on the quantity and specifics of directives from the government to social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, asking them to delete or block certain postings, accounts, or hashtags related to a particular topic.
Twitter tops the list
Approximately 13,660 out of the blacklisted URLs were from the platform that was previously known as Twitter. The Ministry’s digital crackdown initiative had the greatest impact on the social media platform, as indicated by this noteworthy data.