telecom | IST

DoT softens stance after letter seeking replies on blocking social media apps

After heavy criticism over a letter from department of telecom (DoT) seeking responses on blocking messaging platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, highly placed sources within the DoT have confirmed that no blanket ban is being considered against the social media platforms.

After heavy criticism over a letter from department of telecom (DoT) seeking responses on blocking messaging platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, highly placed sources within the DoT have confirmed that no blanket ban is being considered against the social media platforms.
In July, the DoT had written to telecom and internet service providers, seeking responses on possible technologies that can be deployed for blocking such messaging platforms.
The letter cited powers under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, but remained silent on the potential scope and intent behind such a move.
After outrage over the letter, highly placed sources within the DoT have clarified that there is no such broadsword move being contemplated.
The sources assured that there is no such blanket ban under consideration against the messaging platforms.
Sources, however, clarified that issues regarding fake news and ensuing instances of violence were uppermost on the mind of the government.
It was also explained that the onus for tackling the menace of fake news and rumor mongering would rest on the shoulders of the messaging platforms.
It was also confirmed that the DoT would urge the platforms to develop technology based, targeted and specific solution to combat nefarious online messages.
The DoT officials elaborated that the need of the hour was to exploit artificial intelligence and meta data based approaches for minimising and eliminating fake news.