Feeds

India shutters sites and social media accounts

Pakistan suspected of spreading rumours inciting sectarian violence

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

India's government is blocking up to 250 web sites and social media accounts as part of on-going efforts to arrest the spread of damaging rumours which it believes are designed to incite sectarian violence.

Following violent clashes in Assam over the past month between ethnic Bodos and immigrant Muslims, rumours began to spread via bulk SMS messages last week of reprisals against north-east Indians migrants living in cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune.

This sparked a mass exodus of these communities and a blanket ban on bulk SMS messages by the government.

It has now emerged that similar rumour-mongering has been taking place on the web, with doctored videos and images being spread, designed to spark violent Muslim reprisals and fear among north-easterners.

The government has responded swiftly by blocking 130 of the offending sites and planning to do the same to over 100 more, although it is having more difficulty in taking action against individual social media accounts registered outside the country, according to the local Tamil News Network (TNN).

The Indian authorities are now seeking intervention from the US Department of Homeland Security and other agencies after social networking sites such as Facebook apparently said they were reluctant to take action on content uploaded by users outside of India.

Reports from India suggest the campaign of fear is being spread by Pakistani hard-liners, although this has yet to be substantiated.

“I was told by India’s home minister that they have information about the situation in Assam that the SMS creating panic were sent from Pakistan,” Pakistan home minister Rehman Malik told reporters.

“I told him that at the official level we have no such information and that if India has any such information stating that these messages creating panic and migration to Assam were sent from Pakistan then we will definitely investigate the matter.”

If true, this is by no means the first time the rival nations have clashed in cyber space - hacktivists from both sides are periodically responsible for web site defacement and DDoS campaigns.

According to the local CERT, there have been over 7,000 instances of web defacements for .in domains so far this year and almost the same number for .com domains in the region. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
Activists told NOT to snap pics of staff at the concrete doughnut
Britain's housing crisis: What are we going to do about it?
Rent control: Better than bombs at destroying housing
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
What do you mean, I have to POST a PHYSICAL CHEQUE to get my gun licence?
Stop bitching about firearms fees - we need computerisation
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.