[Answered] Use of Internet and social media by non-state actors for subversive activities is a major concern. How have these have misused in the recent past? Suggest effective guidelines to curb the above threat. (GS 3)

As the world goes digital, Internet has been effective tool to connect to people, institutions, governments breaching hitherto formidable natural barriers.

However, it offers multiple advantages to unscrupulous non state actors in pursing their propaganda. It has emerged a s a serious security threat for individuals, corporate sector, govt etc.

Some recent examples showing vulnerabilities of internet:

  • Use of Internet by Daesh:Daesh has been using Internet to spread its propaganda using platforms such as twitter, youtube etc.
  • Radicalisation of youth: Propaganda information to recruit for terror groups like AQIS, LeT on telegram have been intercepted by NIA.
  • Financial Security Breach: Recently, details of 32 lakhs Debit cards were compromised by use of sophisticated hacks.
  • BoT army attack: An army of 100,000 bots was used to make a hostile attack termed “Denial of Service” on servers of Dyn, a European organisation.
  • Rise of sentiments over sensitive issues: Agitations by patidars in Gujarat, Jats in Haryana have seen widespread use of Internet compelling the administrators to order Internet shutdown in cities. Also during Arab Spring, global connectivity has sparked off from Tunisia to other countries.
  • Hacking of private accounts:Unethical hackers have hacked private accounts of famous personalities as well as common people to harass them.

Cyber security is already a rapidly evolving frontier of vulnerability and threat. Imperative guidelines are:

  • To set policy, strategies and priorities to aspects of cyber security, including appropriate frameworks of laws and statutes.
  • Coordinated, dynamically adaptive actions where responsibilities span from individuals and organisations to national governments.
  • Identifying vulnerabilities to protect critical infrastructure and operational capabilities.
  • A real time responsive cyber cell with experts to track suspicious and vulnerable activities.
  • Creating awareness people about e-literacy especially regarding financial literacy.
  • Active monitoring of Social Media including countering any false claims

Given the importance of Internet in the 4th Industrial revolution undergoing, India must work to leverage Internet to the best extent possible while protecting itself against this vulnerabilities.


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