A total of 1,482 websites or URLs were blocked by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) from January to March 2022.
These websites have been blocked by virtue of Section 69a of the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000. The section states that any government agency or any intermediary can be required to deny access to information to the public “in the interest of India’s sovereignty and integrity, India’s defense, state security, and relations friendly relations with foreign states or public order or to prevent incitement to the commission of any recognizable offense relating to the foregoing.” said Prasanth Sugathan, Legal Director at SFLC.in.
Pursuant to Rule 16 of the Information Technology (Procedures and Safeguards for Restriction of Access to Public Information) Rules 2009, all requests and complaints must be maintained in the strictest confidence. This means that the government can block any URL without providing any material information, in the greater interest of national security.