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Can’t use Facebook, post on Twitter — new social media rules for Navy after ‘spy ring bust’

The 85 apps banned/restricted for Indian Navy personnel include Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, Viber, Tumblr, Reddit and Truecaller.

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New Delhi: The Navy has banned or restricted the use of several social media apps for its personnel, including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Linkedin, YouTube, Telegram and Signal, ThePrint has learnt. 

According to sources in the Navy, the force issued fresh guidelines last month that altogether affect 85 apps.

The new guidelines come about a month after the Navy banned Facebook and the use of smartphones on naval premises and warships in light of an alleged espionage racket involving seven personnel. 

It had said at the time that additional safeguards, including bans on messaging apps, blogging, content sharing, and e-commerce sites, were under consideration.  

The fresh guidelines, the sources said, will also affect the use of other smart devices, including watches, on naval premises. They also talk about “deterrent measures” for lapses.

The guidelines will be incorporated into a 2015 Navy order on the use of social media. 

The Navy, the sources said, will organise training capsules on the issue for naval personnel at the southern naval command in Kochi.

Also Read: Pakistan has a new & dangerous peep-hole into Indian military. But New Delhi has a plan

Banned & restricted

According to sources privy to the guidelines, the apps whose use will be banned include Facebook, Instagram, WeChat, Viber, Tumblr and Reddit. PUBG [a video game with chat facility] and Truecaller [which mines users’ contacts to identify unknown callers] fall in the same category.

Restricted use of apps such as WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, Signal, YouTube, Skype, Quora and Linkedin will be allowed, the sources said. Restricted use means, for instance, that personnel can browse through Twitter but not upload any content.

Social media guidelines for defence forces are increasingly common in order to secure confidential information. The US military, for example, has a handbook on the use of social media. Last year, the Indian Army asked officers holding crucial posts to consider deactivating Facebook accounts. 

However, a senior Navy officer said the fresh guidelines might alienate naval personnel, particularly the younger lot, who use the internet frequently. 

“One should adopt changing technologies,” the officer said. “Sensitisation and education regarding the usage of social media are the need of the hour.”

Also Read: Army tells personnel to stay away from spiritual ‘babas’ as they could be Pakistani agents




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  1. LoL! I use to play Chinese version of PUBG (downloaded from: TapTap) long before in 2018 just to know about their Schools, Area information and thoughts about India using Voice Chat. Those small innocent children used to reveal ‘how they were beaten badly by their teachers?’. LinkedIn is a serious loophole. It took longer time for Navy, but it should be implemented in all Armed Forces.

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