Centre bans two pro-ISIS websites, two Facebook pages

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Combating the recent trend of online radicalisation by terror groups like the ISIS, the government has banned two websites that were being accessed by sympathisers and potential recruits across the country.

Two other Facebook pages related to Jammu and Kashmir were also blocked on Wednesday after a high-level meeting to review the threat of online radicalisation and hate mongering on the Internet.

The meeting was convened by Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In), a nodal agency under Ministry of Communications that deals with cyber security threats like hacking and phishing.

“On the request of the IB and some police, the CERT-In has blocked two websites belonging to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which were spreading outfits propaganda, and two Facebook pages which were being run by anonymous people in Jammu and Kashmir,” a senior government officer said.

The two websites spreading ISIS propaganda had details of how to make bombs and training modules of the outfit. The officials said about 55-60 websites and social networking sites pages, related to terror activities, have been blocked by the government this year.

Setting up of a 24×7 ‘Situation Room’ to analyse and generate intelligence on social media as a collaborative initiative involving several ministries is also being discussed. The ministries of home, information technology, information and broadcasting and external affairs can be part of this set-up initially.

While intelligence agencies are currently scrutinising social media and cyberspace, there is no dedicated inter-ministerial mechanism for this.

Earlier on Wednesday, Telecommunication Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that steps will be taken to check misuse of social media platforms to disrupt communal harmony and national security.

“Well as far as radicalisation or extremism…communal or pro-terrorist views are concerned, there is a proper mechanism of coordination between Home Ministry and our ministry,” he told a press conference.

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