Ex-BJP ideologue KN Govindacharya on Thursday raised question in the Delhi high court about the government's move to hire services of private social media management agencies to manage their accounts in social networking sites such as Facebook, saying it endangers creations of fake accounts and cyber crimes.
Govindacharya has also sought stay of the decisions of "many ministries, including the ministry of women and child development (WCD), which have issued tenders for appointment of management agencies for the operations of government social media accounts".
The affidavit in this regard was filed by him before a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul which had earlier observed that "use of internet services, which transfers public data to offshore locations, concerns the integrity and sovereignty of the country" and had questioned the Centre "why public records should go outside India".
The affidavit, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, has also alleged "there exist multiple parody and fake accounts of government departments, ministries, MPs and other organisations on Facebook and other social media network, and yet the government has failed to implement compulsory usages of digital signatures for opening of social media accounts, which may not only stop such misuse but also reduce or put a stop to many frauds and cyber crimes."
The affidavit was filed in pursuance of the court's direction on August 1 to the petitioner to file by way of an affidavit his allegation that social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, are being used by government officials and ministers for official purposes in violation of the Public Records Act.
It has come in the wake of the Centre's submission on August 1 that it has formulated a draft e-mail policy restraining government officials from using services of offshore internet service providers for official purposes which would be placed before the Cabinet at the earliest for approval.