Taking further legal steps on fake news spread on Twitter, the Information and Technology Ministry (IT Ministry) on Tuesday, has reportedly invoked Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act and will write to Twitter to allegedly block a number of accounts for their 'anti-India rants', according to sources.
Sources further report that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed the IT Ministry to act immediately. The MHA has reportedly shortlisted a list of more than 100 accounts - of which a dozen accounts have been red-flagged for immediate action.
According to Indian Kanoon, the section states that the Central Government or any of its officer on its behalf, in the interest of sovereignty and integrity, defence, security of India may direct any agency of the Government or intermediary to block for access by the public or cause to be blocked for access by the public any information generated, transmitted, received, stored or hosted in any computer resource.
The intermediary who fails to comply with the direction issued shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.
This development comes a day after the CRPF, Kashmir police and state administration red-flagged a certain Twitter user - 'WSK' (@WajSKhan) for spreading baseless rumours about the ground situation in Kashmir.
The Superintendent of Srinagar Police too sent an official letter to Twitter asking it to share 'WSK's registered email Id, his mobile number, IP address, and any other access details. The superintendent has also highlighted the gravity of the situation stating that the tweets of the user has the potential to aggravate the situation further and endanger lives of the general public in Kashmir.
In addition to this, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday spoke to Republic TV's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami assuring that stern action against ISI agents who were abusing Indian Digital space. He added that he would return to Delhi and follow through on the complaint filed by Republic TV against Twitter user Zaid Hamid who had been warmongering posts over Kashmir using fake news and even targetted Republic TV.