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Hunt for hate sites that fuel communal fire.

Hunt for hate sites that fuel communal fire HATE- MONGERING on the Internet, aimed at creating communal unrest in the country, has prompted the government to come up with a strategy to combat the threat.

Sources said while certain websites face a ban, the government is making efforts to ensure hate content is removed from platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

The action was promoted after an assessment done by agencies monitoring the online content says that several websites and social media are being widely used as a tool for creating communal flare- ups.

Sources said while certain websites face a ban, the government is making efforts to ensure that the hate content is removed from platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

Officials said a meeting is scheduled in the coming week to review the status and a decision to ban websites spreading communally charged views will be taken. " A lot of content is being used to instigate people and incite bloodshed. The cyber space is being used as a platform to spread venom in an organised manner," said a government official. In most cases it's just rumour- mongering aimed at creating communal unrest, officials said.

Following the lynching of a Muslim man on the outskirts of Delhi over rumours of beefeating by his family, there has been circulation of hate messages, pictures, audios and videos with communal overtones and hate content. Sources said intelligence agencies are also tracking certain fringe organisations suspected to be playing a pivotal role in this.

" We have certain organisations on our radar.

Individuals associated with these organisations have taken to social media and freely propagating hatred," said an official.

Officials of Ministries of Home and Telecommunication and agencies like Intelligence Bureau ( IB), National Technical Research Organisation ( NTRO) and Computer Emergency Response Emergency Team- India ( CERT- In) are deliberating on the immediate measures to combat the growing use of the cyber space for spreading communal hatred.

Setting up of a 24x7 ' Situation Room' to analyse and generate intelligence on social media as a collaborative initiative involving several ministries is also being discussed.

Ministries of Home, Information Technology, I& B and External Affairs can be part of this set- up initially.

While intelligence agencies are currently scrutinising social media and the cyber space, there is no dedicated inter- ministerial mechanism for this.

Recently, a meeting chaired by Deputy National Security Adviser Arvind Gupta was held to discuss the subject.

The arrest of Bengaluru- based executive Mehdi Masroor Biswas for allegedly putting material favouring terror group ISIS last year had alerted intelligence agencies about the threat on cyber space that has become the new formula for terror groups.

Sources say there are close to 30,000 such Twitter handles and other social media forums spewing venom and little can be done to monitor all of them and act in time.

Several Indian youths who were intercepted from travelling to Syria to join ISIS were also lured on cyber space by seeing propaganda videos and being indoctrinated through online chats. It's not just terror groups but also reactions to volatile developments within the country that have the potential to disrupt public order.

Sources said it has been noticed public rage on social media can lead to a law and order problem.

A lot of content is being used to instigate people and incite bloodshed. The cyber space is being used as a platform to spread venom.

' -- A SENIOR GOV ' T OFFICIAL CASTING AWEB The government may soon ban websites that contain hate content.

Efforts are on to ensure that communally charged content is removed from social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

A high- level meeting of all departments and intelligence agencies is scheduled to review the situation.

A 24x7 ' Situation Room' to analyse and generate intelligence on social media is on the anvil.

Intelligence agencies say the content is being used to instigate people and incite bloodshed.

The arrest of Bengaluru- based executive Mehdi Masroor Biswas for allegedly putting material favouring terror group ISIS in 2014, had alerted intelligence agencies about the threat on cyber space that has become the new formula for terror groups.

Several Indian youths who were intercepted from travelling to Syria to join ISIS were also lured on cyber space.

Intelligence agencies are also tracking certain fringe organisations suspected to be playing a pivotal role

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Oct 11, 2015
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