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New Delhi, March 29 – Blocking directions have been given for 30,310 URLs since 2018 till March 15, 2023, which include social media URLs, accounts, channels, apps, web pages, websites etc.
Section 69A of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000 gives the government the power to issue directions for blocking for access of information if it is necessary or expedient to do so in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity and defence of India, security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states or public order or for inciting cognisable offence relating to the above.
As per a written reply submitted in the Parliament by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy), the government follows due process as envisaged in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information for Public) Rules, 2009.
As per the rules, MEITy and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting can issue blocking directions if the information infringes the provisions specified in Section 69A of IT Act, 2000, the reply informed.
Since 2018 till March 15, 2023, the committee constituted under Rules 7 and 14 of the aforesaid Rules examined a total of 41,172 URLs that were received from nodal officers in various ministries, departments, and states for blocking under Section 69A of IT Act, 2000.
Notices were given to the respective intermediaries for all such URLs, 48 hours prior to the meeting. In the case of websites, notices were given based on the contact details published on the website, the ministry informed in the reply.