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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Social media being used for terrorism, illegal acts: Sibal

PTI  New Delhi, April 18, 2013
First Published: 21:51 IST(18/4/2013) | Last Updated: 21:53 IST(18/4/2013)

Social media is being used for spreading terrorism and drug trafficking but the government is unable to take action because identity of perpetrators of such acts is not known, telecom and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said on Thursday.

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"Take drug trafficking, take terrorism... There are lot of things that is happening through social media. Now we want to go after somebody... We cannot because the identity of person is not before us," Sibal said at launch of digital newspaper of BAG Network.

The telecom minister said that if the identity of such user is known to the government, it is unable to act as the user is often not within the jurisdiction of India.

Information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, who was present at the occasion, echoed Sibal's view and said that there should be distinction between privacy and anonymity.

"Once your are able to make that distinction and once you are able to enforce that the identity of the person... at least authenticated to the platform that he is on, a lot of these problem specially the one that we saw the migration of people of north east from various cities, would have been taken care of," Tewari said.

Sibal said that community needs to build a consensus to resolve issues related to social media by collaborating with each other and not by just making rules and regulations.

"Even if you make rules and regulation, social media will not adhere to it. How do I get social media to adhere to those rules and regulation. They are sitting outside. they say that our servers are not here, our servers are in USA. We will not listen you... what can you do? This is the problem," he said.

When asked the restraint within government to control miscreants on social media, Sibal said "We do not agree with you that we should put any control on social media. We do neither control media nor electronic media... If we start reading your licence agreement (electronics media) then on daily basis electronic media violates some of the norms."

The telecom minister said whenever government even starts talking about any regulation on social media, the traditional media people start attacking the government.

"Not talking personally about you, but your fraternity starts attacking the government at the Centre that it is in violation to freedom of speech and expression and creates such an environment across country as though our government or any other government is against freedom of speech and expression," he said.

Sibal that this kind of media activity has its own political effect on the country and "I don't believe that in India we are ready to adopt this kind of process." "But definitely I will say one thing that no medium should be outside the laws of this country," he added.

The telecom minister said he believes that like judiciary, media should also think about the restraints that should be adopted.


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