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Govt asked Twitter to block 2,731 URLs in 2020, twice the 2019 tally

MoS Information Technology Sanjay Dhotre tells Parliament that govt asked Twitter to block 1,041 URLs in 2019. Facebook was asked to block 1,717 URLs in 2020, compared to 2,049 in 2019.

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government ordered Twitter to block 2,731 URLs in 2020, which is more than twice the number blocked in 2019, Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State for Electronics and IT, informed the Lok Sabha earlier this month.

Dhotre said the government asked Twitter to block 2,731 URLs in 2020, compared to 1,041 URLs in 2019. Facebook was asked to block 1,717 URLs in 2020. In 2019, it was asked to block 2,049 URLs.

A URL or a uniform resource locator refers to an address for a resource on the internet. Typing in a URL in a web browser leads to the specific resource or website.

Dhotre was responding to an unstarred question from BJD MP Pinaki Misra, who asked the government to provide the number of Twitter and Facebook URLs blocked by it in the last five years.

Under Section 69A of IT Act

In his reply, Dhotre said Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, empowers the government to block information online in the interest of India’s sovereignty and security, and maintaining public order.

He said the blocking is done as specified in the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking for Access of Information By Public) Rules, 2009.

According to data shared by the government, Facebook was asked to block more URLs than Twitter in three of five years — 2016, 2017, and 2019.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: Modi govt’s new IT rules don’t empower consumers, but expand State power over online content


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