Anti-national groups are making use of social networking sites in spreading propaganda and inciting Indian youth to join such activities, Parliament was informed today.
As many as 272 incidents related to posting propaganda material with anti-national contents and sentiments on Internet including social media sites were reported by law enforcement and security agencies in 2014. “Internet and social media have extraordinary reach particularly in the field of information sharing and dissemination. “However, anti-national groups/elements also make use of social networking sites on the Internet to post propaganda and anti-national information and for mentoring Indian youths to join such activities,” Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He added that since many of these websites do not require authentication for posting information, it helps them to hide identities. “The objectionable information were appearing and disappearing regularly and dynamically,” he said. The Minister said a total of 362, 432 and 272 incidents relating to posting propaganda were reported during 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. In a separate response, Prasad said a total of 1,791, 2,876 and 4,356 cyber crime cases were registered under the IT Act during 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively as per the cyber crime data maintained by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). “A total of 422, 601 and 1,337 cases were registered under cyber crime related sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) during 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively,” he added.
These include four and six cases of ‘false electronics evidence’, 259 and 747 cases of ‘forgery’ and 282 and 518 cases of ‘criminal breach of trust/fraud’, registered under the cyber crime related sections of the IPC during 2012 and 2013, respectively. “A total number of 45, 37, 37 and 57 cases of fake accounts/profiles on various social networking websites were reported to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) by various law enforcement agencies in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively,” he said.