In the aftermath of the massacre at the office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the Mumbai police have mounted surveillance in cyber space. Within 24 hours of the incident, the police blocked over 650 posts/pages on a popular social networking site for uploading controversial cartoons featured in the magazine.
The cartoons published in the magazine, including the recent ones, which are said to have triggered the attack on the cartoonist and several others, are easily available over the Internet. As a mark of protest against the killings, users are putting up posts of the caricatures on social networking sites.
“We are on alert. We are blocking every controversial post/page that we come across,” Mumbai police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said on Thursday.
According to sources, immediately after the incident, the social media watch cell of the Mumbai police intelligence was alerted about the developing situation, with a clear instruction to rummage through handles and posts and fish out those putting up controversial cartoons.
“We are in constant touch with the authorities managing the server of a popular networking site based in the United States of America (USA) to immediately block such posts and provide us with the IP address of the account holders,” Kulkarni said, adding that offences would be registered on complaints.
Cyber expert Vijay Mukhi said the onus of blocking or taking off any post is with the server manager of the site and the police had little role to play in it. “The police may request, but the server managers take the decision. In several instances in the past, the server managers have refused to entertain requests made from across the globe by enforcement agencies to act against controversial content, as they felt they were mere satires,” he said.