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Asked WhatsApp to outline steps taken to deal with fake news: Ahluwalia

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The government has asked to convey the various steps taken by them to deal with fake news, even as it said the Centre has no plans to tap into citizen's messages, Parliament was informed today.

The technology (MeitY) is also running a programme -- Information Security Education & Awareness (ISEA) -- to highlight the importance of following ethics while using Internet and advice against sharing rumours/ fake news, of State for Electronics and IT SS said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

"Government has also asked to convey various steps taken by them to deal with and also to share learning material to educate the same," he said.

In response to a query on whether the government planned to tap citizen's messages, said: "No, Sir".

"Government does not regulate content appearing on Internet. Law enforcement agencies take appropriate action on posting of malicious content on Internet on specific case-to-case basis," he said in response to a separate query.

Besides, the government has taken several initiatives for user awareness relating to cyber safety and the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) issues advisories about cyber safety and security, he pointed.

Following multiple incidents of mob lynching across the country, the government had slapped messaging platform WhatsApp with two notices, with the second one warning that it will treat the messaging platform as 'abettor' of rumour propagation and legal consequences will follow if adequate checks are not put in place.

WhatsApp, in its response to these notices, had outlined initiatives it is taking to curb circulation, including education and advocacy efforts.

To another query, stated that the government is fully committed to freedom of speech and expression and privacy of its citizens as enshrined in the constitution of

Ahluwalia pointed out that the (MHA) has also been regularly interacting with popular sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, etc to ensure more effective enforcement.

"MHA has also issued a number of advisories which includes advisory on untoward incidents in the name of protection of cows...advisory on cyber crime prevention and control...and also an advisory on incidents of lynching by mobs in some States fuelled by rumours of lifting/kidnapping of children," he said.

He added pursuant to the directions of a order, MHA has issued a directive to all states for implementation of directions of the apex court and has constituted a Group of Ministers and a High level Committee to make recommendations in this matter.

Answering another question, the said the data traffic per in is currently estimated to be 5.7 GB per month.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, August 08 2018. 16:50 IST