Over 9,800 URLs, accounts, webpages blocked in 2020: Prasad

The URLs accounts, and webpages were blocked under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000, said the Union Minister.

More than 9,800 URLs, accounts, and webpages were blocked in 2020, Union Minister for Information Technology (IT) Ravi Shankar said on Wednesday.

The URLs, accounts, and webpages were blocked under Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000.

Wherever the situation warrants, under the provision of Section 69A of the IT Act, the government blocks unlawful and malicious online content in the interest of sovereignty of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, or public order, Prasad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

"Under this provision, 1,385, 2,799, 3,603 and 9,849 URLs/accounts/webpages were blocked during the years 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively," he said.

According to him, cyberspace is a complex environment of people, software, hardware, and services on the internet, and global outreach of social media platforms — that allow interaction among internet users for sharing, hosting, storing, transmitting user content — has increased tremendously.

"Because of such features, specifically the option to remain anonymous, there are certain miscreants who use hateful and divisive language on social media platforms," he said.

Prasad said the government has recently notified the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, in which many of these issues have been addressed.

Social media platforms are enjoined to develop a robust grievance redressal system, he said.

In another development, more than 4,400 URLs on Facebookand Twitterwere blocked by the government in 2020 under Section 69A of the IT Act, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.

Edited by Lena Saha