The Central government on Monday said it would share with Pakistan evidence of its people and organisations having uploaded inflammatory and objectionable content on the Internet to incite religious sentiments in India, which led to the exodus of northeast people from various States.
Meanwhile, the government blocked 89 more websites on which morphed images and fake videos were uploaded from across the border.
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has conveyed to his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik that New Delhi would share with Islamabad all evidence of the involvement of certain Pakistani groups and individuals in the uploading of morphed images and videos to spread rumours and create communal tension in India, Home Secretary R.K. Singh told journalists here.
“We will share [all evidences] with them,” Mr. Singh said when asked to comment on Mr. Malik’s statement that India had not yet shared any evidence with Pakistan. Investigations revealed that a majority of these images were uploaded in Pakistan.
Commenting on the role of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Mr. Singh said that at this stage, it was difficult to say who were behind it, but Indian agencies were probing it. “You do not know who is behind it…to say or to deny that a particular organisation was or was not linked with anyone is difficult. But some photographs have names of one or two organisations [of Pakistan].”
The Home Ministry has identified more websites and blogs carrying hate messages, pictures and videos. On its directions, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) has blocked 89 more websites, taking the total number of sites jammed in the past three days to 245.
A senior DEIT official said Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and international social networking sites were asked to provide registration details and access logs of persons who had uploaded objectionable and inflammatory content. The initial response from international social networking sites indicated that such contents were hosted from outside the country, and to a large extent from Pakistan. “We have been working with international social networking sites… However, a lot more and quicker action is expected from them to address such a sensitive issue,” he said.
The Centre is also planning to share the findings of its cyber security teams on international forums as this episode has turned out to be the biggest instance of cyber warfare against India in recent times. The focus is on a Pakistan-based militant group said to be behind doctoring images and videos and uploading them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
“Most of the online content started getting posted from July 13 and fake profiles were created for spreading morphed pictures… The proxy servers and Virtual Private Network services, which hide the identity of users operating from a number of countries, appear to have been used for uploading inflammatory content. We are investigating it and will come out with more evidences soon,” the official said.