The accounts were blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, and while the number of accounts/URLs blocked were 471 in 2014, it rose to 2799 in 2018, 3635 in 2019 and 9849 in 2020, the ministry of electronics and IT said.
“The accounts/ URLs that are blocked by the government are based on the requests, received from the concerned designated Nodal Officers of the Ministries/ States, on specified grounds and following the due process, specified in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, notified under section 69A of the IT Act,” said Chandrasekhar in the response. It added that the ministry follows due process in all such directions.
In response to another question on whether the Government has asked Internet firms including Google, Youtube etc., to remove objectionable pictures of women,
Chandrasekhar said the government is well aware of the risk and danger posed by growing phenomena of misuse of various media platform and the user harms caused as a consequence. The Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 provides for a criminal penalty for publishing or transmitting obscene and sexually explicit content, he said.
“…keeping with the mission of having an open, safe and trusted and accountable internet, Government has published, the IT (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 under the IT Act. These rules have appropriate provisions to deal with such user harms/ menace,” he said.
He further stated that law enforcement agencies at the Centre and states take appropriate legal action as per provisions of law, and when appropriate, request intermediaries including social media platforms like Google and Youtube to remove content violative of any law.