'Over 9,800 URLs, accounts, webpages blocked in 2020'

New Delhi: More than 9,800 URLs, accounts or webpages were blocked in 2020, Union minister Ravi Shankar said on Wednesday. The URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), accounts and webpages were blocked under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

Wherever the situation warrants, under the provision of section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, 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, who is in charge of IT ministry, said in a written reply to 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 added.

According to him, cyber space is a complex environment of people, software, hardware and services on the internet, and that 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 added.

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

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