Number of Twitter URLs blocked by MeitY rising

New Delhi: The number of Twitter URLs blocked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has shown a rise during the last few years, the Parliament was told on Wednesday.

A total of 1,122 Twitter URLs were blocked till June 2022, 2,851 in 2021 as against 2,731 in 2020 and 1,041 in 2019 – up from 225 in 2018, 588 in 2017, 194 in 2016, 15 in 2015, and 8 in 2014, Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 empowers the Ministry to block information in any computer resource in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognisable offense relating to above, he said.

For blocking of information, the MeitY follows the due process as specified in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information by Public) Rules, 2009, he added.

In line with the objective of the government to ensure an open, safe, trusted and Accountable Internet for all its users, MeitY issued directions for blocking to Twitter to block URLs including accounts under provision of Section 69A of the IT Act, 2000. MeitY does not maintain data regarding the period of existence of accounts that were suspended by Twitter, the Minister said.

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