Social media sites refuse to share information about Indian users

NEW DELHI: Social media websites Google, Facebook and Twitter have declined to share information sought by the government about individual users in India or block their sites.

It is learnt that a review committee had approved the decision to block 306 accounts on the social media site Twitter. The review committee consisted of the cabinet secretary Ajit Seth, Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar and the Legal Affairs Secretary B A Agarwal.

After reviewing the 310 accounts that were blocked after the communal clashes in Kokrajhar district of Assam, the Committee found that some of these Twitter accounts had uploaded few of the altered pictures which played a part in sparking the clashes last year and it believes that these Twitter accounts have the potential to further inflame communal tension in the country.

The review committee met with Google, Facebook and Twitter representatives and requested them to provide details of the said accounts but the companies had apparently not complied with these requests.

Twitter mentioned that it had received requests for disclosure of user information from the Indian government during July to December 2012, but it complied with none of those requests. Google also stated in December that it had received 2,431 requests for disclosure of user data of 4106 accounts from the Indian government during July to December 2012 and it had complied with 66 per cent of the requests.

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