In response to cybercrimes, 3401 social media links and websites were terminated

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 23 May 2024

According to CEO Rajesh Kumar, the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C) was notified as the home ministry agency that can send takedown orders to intermediaries on illegal content related to cyber crimes under Section 79(3)(b) of the Information Technology Act, and as a result, 3,401 social media links, websites, and WhatsApp groups have been taken down for being used to commit cybercrimes since March 14. Although he did not provide the compliance percentages for other major internet intermediaries, Meta, the company that owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, cooperated with more than 90% of these removal demands.

The second MHA agency to receive this designation is I4C. 2018 saw notice to the National Crime Records Bureau. According to legal experts, Section 79(3)(b) has left a hazy area about who can order intermediaries to delete information, why they can do so, and whether or not the removal can be contested, as HT reported on February 4. One important question was whether state and federal government institutions should be explicitly informed in the official gazette so that they might issue takedown warnings to intermediaries, such as social media corporations.

Since I4C was founded in October 2018, more than 3,000 URLs and 595 applications have been prohibited under Section 69A of the IT Act on the advice of I4C and state law enforcement authorities for being connected to cybercrimes. Phishing connections, websites for unlicensed bookmakers, websites and applications that deceive users, and other types of websites are examples of blocked websites.

On the suggestion of several ministries and states, the IT ministry may block content for national security and related purposes under Section 69A. Meanwhile, informed agencies may remove any unlawful content by using Section 79(3)(b), which lowers the bar for content blocking.

According to Kumar, cybercriminals utilize three systems—financial services (mule accounts, etc.), internet (fake websites, applications, and online marketing), and telecom infrastructure (SIM cards and mobile phones)—to commit frauds and crimes.

Furthermore, in the previous four months, the I4C and state law enforcement authorities were able to freeze around 3,25,000 mule accounts due to their involvement in cybercrimes. Since July 2023, some 5,30,000 SIM cards and 80,848 IMEI codes have also been canceled or suspended.

Current Issue