10 August 2011

Twitter, Facebook under scanner in India

he most famous networking sites Twitter and Facebook will be under the scanner in India as the home ministry of India has asked the communications ministry to control these social networking websites, fearing that the services are being availed by the terrorist to plan attacks.

The request proposed that the Indian government is trying to extend the reach of its online surveillance for national security.
Twitter, Facebook under scanner in India

According to the country's Press information Bureau Milind Deora, the minister of state for communications and IT, claimed at the Parliament that, "Telecommunications service providers in India provide facilities for lawful interception and monitoring of communications on their network." Millind further included that "But there are certain communications which are encrypted."

The government did not provide adequate details of what encrypted data they would like to have access to. A spokesman for the home ministry claimed that additional information can only be hand over in Parliament while it is in session.

Earlier this year, the new rules to the country's IT Act that came into force included websites and service providers are required to provide government security agencies with information on private accounts, including passwords, on request without a court order.

Most of the companies do not agree to share information with law enforcement agencies until and unless they have a court order.

Twitter states in its guidelines for law enforcement that "non-public information about Twitter users is not released unless we have received a subpoena, court order, or other valid legal process document."

Facebook claimed that it has a similar policy, saying that U.S. federal law prohibits the disclosure of the contents of an account such as messages, wall posts and photos except in response to a civil subpoena or court order,

The duo Twitter and Facebook, ranked top 10 among the most popular websites in India according to web statistics company Alexa.