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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Mumbai: city cops to monitor you on social media

Rahul Mahajani, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 18, 2013
First Published: 01:00 IST(18/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:04 IST(18/1/2013)

Your Facebook posts, tweets, blog posts and YouTube videos will all be monitored by big brother who can, if he deems inappropriate, block them.

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The big brother here is the Mumbai police crime branch that is setting up a ‘social networking site monitoring cell’ hoping to avoid a repeat of incidents like the Palghar row, where police arrested two girls for a comment criticising the city shutting down after Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s death.

Even during that time, the police monitored online activity and deleted 30 posts they thought objectionable, said sources.

But now there will be a full-time cell dedicated to ensuring you don’t write anything the police think can cause trouble.

“The cell, which will monitor social media real time to prevent any law and order situation, will be set up in a couple of months,” said Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime).

People active on social media are aghast. “It’s an encroachment on the freedom of speech,” said film-maker Pritish Nandy.

Legal and cyber experts warn that attempts to control social media have failed world over and blocking a post is not as simple as pressing delete but would require a legal process such as filing an FIR and a court order.

Advocate and human rights activist Asim Sarode said: “The police will be unable to control social media. Instead, people should be sensitised to the need to use social media responsibly.”


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