Sustained espionage and spying activity over cyber platforms led to the Indian Army’s decision to ban 89 social media apps this week, a senior officer of the Indian Army has confirmed to this journalist for The Quint.
“We are being harmed. It has now been confirmed that soldiers and officers within the Indian Army are being profiled by the adversaries. It is also confirmed that devices like mobile phones and computers have been controlled by them. Social media profiles have been used to lure some of our people for honey-trapping. Spying is actively underway through social media,” senior officers of the Indian Army further revealed.
The decision to ban several social media apps was made public (informally) on 8 July, but the instructions were given in an internal note – accessed by this journalist in the first week of June – to the plan which was under consideration for the past (over) four months. The note titled ‘Regulatory Measures for Social Media Platforms’ on ‘banned sites’ says:
“In view of the exponential increase in the number of cases being targeted by the hostile intelligence agencies and existing vulnerabilities, the use of Facebook accounts by Army personnel is banned. Hence, the existing accounts are required to be deleted and not left deactivated by 1 June 2020.”
The note further elaborates on all the banned sites and possible action against defaulters who continue to be on the banned social media apps against the rules.