In the wake of the recent espionage case seven young personnel of the Indian Navy were arrested, the Naval Headquarters has placed a ban on the use of all social media platforms including Facebook with immediate effect.
In an Intra Department notice the Naval Headquarters has issued stringent correctives with immediate effect including a ban on the use of Facebook by Naval Personnel and Ban of using smartphones within the naval bases, onboard ships and dockyards.
It has also suggested the immediate ban on messaging, blogging, content sharing, hosting and networking.
Explaining on condition of anonymity, a top naval officer said, “These rules have been in place earlier also. However, the ban on using Facebook is the first. After the recent busting of the espionage racket, the Indian Navy has decided to press the reset button and ensure that all social platforms are blocked. With the strength of 56,000 personnel, it is easy to control the damage. Rules were there earlier, what is happening now is just reiterating the earlier instructions.”
Recently, seven personnel involved in an alleged spy ring with links to Pakistan were arrested. This was exposed after a joint operation was conducted by Andhra Pradesh Intelligence and Naval Intelligence earlier this month. `Operation Dolphin’s Nose’ had also resulted in the arrest of a hawala operator.
According to sources, some of the arrested personnel were `honey trapped’ over the social networking website, because of which instructions have been issued to ensure that Facebook is also not allowed.
In case of an emergency what happens?
The officer quoted above said, “There are Standard Operating Procedures and to address other concerns relating to the civilians working in the dockyard shipyards etc, more stringent measures are expected to be put in place.”
Earlier today, the Ministry of Home Affairs has transferred the case to NIA to carry out further investigations in the case in which seven navy personnel were arrested for allegedly leaking sensitive information to Pakistan intelligence agency ISI.
The seven personnel were arrested from Mumbai, Karwar and Vishakapatnam who had leaked information about the movements of warships and submarines through social media platforms to the Pakistani agents. Thus exposing loopholes in the security around critical assets, especially in the Eastern and Western Naval Commands which are responsible for the maritime security of the country’s huge coastline.
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Source: Financial Express